Post by Neil Hendry on Sept 24, 2015 13:42:25 GMT
Richard - The short answer to this is yes. Here's a bit more information to understand the background to it all.
When Thames TV was formed in 1968, the parent companies of RTV (i.e. BET) and ABC TV (i.e. ABPC) still retained ownership of their existing TV catalogues. Thames TV was formed as a new company owned by both ABPC (51%) and BET (49%) although they shared profits 50:50. For a while at least (until 1971), the RTV catalogue was marketed overseas by Global Television Services with the profits going to RTV/ BET. In 1972, the BFI took a lot of the archive material but the rights would still have belonged to RTV/ BET - although it seems that they no longer felt that there was any commercial potential in the surviving material .
Over the years the rights to the surviving ABC and RTV archives have been bought and sold several times as a result of mergers/ takeovers and sales. At present, ABC's rights are owned by StudioCanal and RTV's by Archbuild Limited.
BET was Rediffusion's largest shareholder and in 1983 they bought Rediffusion outright.
BET sold Rediffusion in the mid-80's.
As Rediffusion was a large company in itself - with many different facets/ markets - I am not sure whether RTV was still part of it or whether the TV rights had already been sold off separately. But by the mid-80's BET had certainly sold off Rediffusion. Tracking how the rights eventually ended up with Archbuild Limited is a topic to add to the do-list!
RTV Rights + Archive Locations
"It should be noted that although Rediffusion no longer exists, all intellectual rights to the company’s programming belong to Archbuild Limited. Existing programmes are spread between Archbuild themselves, the British Film Institute, private film collectors and The Tim Disney Archive."
Background To The Formation of Thames TV
"Following changes to the ITV network structure, which resulted in the abandonment of the Midlands and North weekend franchises held by ABC Television, ABC lost all its franchises along with the rights to take over the Midlands, held by ATV, or the London Weekend franchise, awarded to the London Television Consortium. To preserve the sizeable ABC, the ITA proposed ABC and Rediffusion should form a new company: Thames Television. This was not a merger or "shot gun marriage" as is commonly stated and is an urban myth. ABPC, the parent company of ABC and BET, the parent company of Rediffusion, created Thames as a separate entity. Thames would use the resources and staff of ABC's Teddington Studios and Rediffusion's Television House. Rediffusion's parent company, BET, took a 49% stake in Thames, and was under-represented in the management of the new company. When Rediffusion objected to this, the ITA replied that either Thames took the new contract, or ABC took over. Rediffusion chose the former, and went off the air on 29 July 1968."
"By 1964, when Associated Rediffusion changed its name to Rediffusion London, its efforts had left it sitting on a mountain of cash. But in 1967 the Independent Television Authority ordered Rediffusion London to enter into a joint arrangement with Associated British Corporation, the holder of the weekend Midlands and North of England franchises, to form Thames Television. As a result of this re-allocation of interests, ABC took a controlling 51% interest in Thames Television, although the profits were split 50/50 between ABC and Rediffusion. Thames Television was given the new weekday London franchise. BET sold its interest in Thames Television in 1985."
The rights to Thames TV have been bought and sold over the years and are currently owned by Fremantle Media