Talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) today announced a joint venture with Valence Media and its independent studio division, Media Rights Capital (MRC), to develop, produce and finance premium television series and partner with the creative community’s top artists. The new venture will be named Civic Center Media.
The move is unique among leading talent and entertainment companies because instead of creating an in-house production entity, UTA is partnering with an established independent studio with more than 15 years of major success in the television and film business. Valence Media and MRC’s roster of acclaimed content includes developing and producing House of Cards, Ozark, Counterpart, Ted, and Baby Driver. It also has selectively co-financed major studio films, including Peter Rabbit, Furious 7, 22 Jump Street and Hotel Transylvania 2 and 3. On the television side, MRC regularly partners with premium distributors like HBO, Apple, Starz, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Sony, CBS, and ABC. MRC projects have earned 59 Emmy nominations, 18 Golden Globe nominations, 11 Oscar nominations and 2 Grammy nominations, while grossing more than $4.8 billion in worldwide box office.
“As we looked at the landscape of potential partners and content models, our priority was to work with a studio that puts artists and creators first,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “MRC shares our ‘artist first’ mentality and our belief that the time has come for a new business model that offers more creative control and ownership opportunities to artists. They have one of the best track records in our industry and will bring superb infrastructure and resources to the projects we create. As new distribution platforms fundamentally change the economics of our business and tilt the balance of power towards creators, there is no better partner for us and our clients.”
“We’ve enjoyed a terrific relationship with UTA for more than 15 years,” said Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, co-CEOs of Valence Media. “UTA sees the opportunities both within and beyond the traditional studio system and prioritizes new business models that protect and advance artists. Even more, they have always had deep passion and an uncanny eye for identifying gifted talent and groundbreaking creators. We’re excited to build this venture with them.”
The joint venture, which gives UTA an undisclosed minority stake in Civic Center Media, will offer the agency’s clients access to significant resources for development and production. Through more streamlined overhead and processes, Civic Center Media will be able to offer more attractive terms—both financially and creatively—to partners who bring their content projects to the studio. In particular, clients will benefit on the back end, where they stand to make the most money if their content is well-received by audiences.
The arrangement is non-exclusive for both UTA and MRC, and Civic Center Media will seek to develop projects with artists represented by all talent agencies. Additionally, UTA will continue to work with all studios and MRC will continue to develop and acquire projects from all agencies. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, and a search is now underway for an executive to lead the new venture.
Upcoming MRC series and films include The Great written by Tony McNamara (The Favourite) starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, Mortal Engines, written and produced by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Knives Out, from Rian Johnson, starring Daniel Craig and Chris Evans.
Leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA) represents many of the most acclaimed figures across film, television, news, music, sports, theater, fine art, literature, video games, podcasts and other social and digital content. A passionate advocate for artists, creators and innovators, the company also is recognized in the areas of film finance and packaging, branding, licensing and endorsements. UTA is known for its dedicated digital media group helping clients—from A-list talent to Fortune 500 companies—capitalize on a rapidly changing entertainment, media and business landscape. The agency's worldwide presence includes its Los Angeles headquarters and offices in New York, London, Nashville, Miami and Malmö, Sweden. Information about UTA can also be found by following the company on social media on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Valence Media
Valence Media is a diversified and integrated media company with divisions in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live entertainment, digital media and publishing. Valence's core mission is to offer a unique environment to develop and attract great leaders through collaboration across platforms, professional development and learning, and a focus on building an industry-leading culture of inclusion, diversity and safety. Valence launched in February 2018 with the combination of MRC, dick clark productions, The Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, and a minority interest in A24 studio. Valence will continue to be an acquisition and investment platform for media businesses in current and adjacent sectors.
MRC is a leading film and television studio, specializing in the creation of content in partnership with the industry's foremost creative talent. The company develops, produces and finances television and film for premier networks including HBO, Netflix, Starz, Apple, Amazon, Hulu, AMC, Lifetime and Comedy Central, as well as leading distributors including Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount and Fox. MRC is the studio behind the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series House of Cards and Emmy nominated series Ozark, both distributed by Netflix and the critically acclaimed series Counterpart for Starz. Upcoming MRC series and films include The Great written by Tony McNamara (The Favourite) starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, Mortal Engines, written and produced by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and Knives Out, from Rian Johnson, starring Daniel Craig and Chris Evans. The studio also developed, produced and financed Ted, the highest-grossing original comedy of all time, and has ownership interest in major studio films Peter Rabbit, Furious 7, 22 Jump Street and Hotel Transylvania 2 and 3. To date, MRC projects have grossed more than $4.8 billion in worldwide box office and have been nominated for 18 Golden Globe Awards, 59 Emmy Awards, 11 Academy Awards, and 2 Grammy Awards.