Entertainment Rights
IndustryGlobal media company
Founded11 July 1989; 33 years ago (1989-07-11)
Defunct8 May 2009; 13 years ago (2009-05-08)
FateMerged into Classic Media
SuccessorDreamWorks Classics
ProductsChildren and family television programming

Entertainment Rights PLC (formally known as Sleepy Kids) was a British multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate that specialized in TV-shows and cartoons, children’s media, films, and distribution. In May 2009, the company was acquired by Boomerang Media and merged into its own subsidiary Classic Media.[1]


In 1989, "Sleepy Kids" was founded by Martin and Vivien Schrager-Powell. It was created in order to produce Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone (Potsworth and Co. in the UK) a children's animated series. Schrager-Powell's business partner was Hanna-Barbera. Within months of the founding, Sleepy Kids became a public company. It produced Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop[2] and Budgie the Little Helicopter.[citation needed]

Between 1998 and 1999, Sleepy Kids expanded. In December 1998, the company merged with The Richard Digance Card Company, Clipper Films and Ridgeway Films. In 1999, the company acquired Siriol Productions.[3] Also in 1999, Sleepy Kids purchased Boom Boom (owner of Basil Brush), Carrington Productions International (owner of the Ventureworld Films and Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop.[citation needed]

Following these acquisitions, Sleepy Kids was renamed "SKD Media". In 2000, SKD Media was renamed "Entertainment Rights".[4] Entertainment Rights later purchased Link Entertainment in March 2001[5] and Postman Pat owner Woodland Animations (which was distributed by Link) in November 2001[6] Varga London, Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, and Maddocks Animation and Little Entertainment Company.[citation needed]

In 2004, Entertainment Rights acquired Tell-Tale Productions[7] and rights to most of the in-house Filmation library from Hallmark Entertainment.[8]

At the end of 2004, Entertainment Rights employed 95 people.[citation needed] In the 2005 financial year, Entertainment Rights' revenue was £12.4 million. The company bid for Chorion but the offer was rejected.[9][failed verification][10]

In 2005, Siriol Productions came under new management. The company was renamed "Calon". Most of the rights to completed productions were kept by Entertainment Rights.[11]

On 11 January 2007, Entertainment Rights acquired Classic Media for US$210 million (£106.9 million). Before completion, both companies announced distribution and production agreements with Genius Products.[12]

In December 2008, the company appointed of Deborah Dugan, former president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, as its CEO in North America.[13] There had been financial instability within the company.[14]

By January 2009, the company had dismissed one third of its employees. The company's market value decreased from £267 million in March 2007 to £5.5 million.[15] By February 2009, six companies had requested to purchase Entertainment Rights.[16] Also in February 2009, Entertainment Rights was fined £245,000 by the Financial Services Authority for failing to inform shareholders of "a potential $14 million earnings hit in a timely manner".[17]

On 1 April 2009, Entertainment Rights went into voluntary administration.[18] On the same day, Boomerang Media announced it had acquired all of Entertainment Rights subsidiaries including Entertainment Rights itself, Big Idea and Classic Media.[19] On 11 May 2009, Boomerang Media announced that the former UK and US subsidiaries of Entertainment Rights would operate as a unified business under the name "Classic Media", while Big Idea would operate under its own name.[20] Boomerang Media was created by former owners of Classic Media until it was sold to Entertainment Rights in 2006.[citation needed]

In 2012, Classic Media was acquired by DreamWorks Animation.[21] DreamWorks Animation was then acquired by NBCUniversal in 2016, thus Universal Pictures gaining the rights to most of Entertainment Rights' catalogue of works.

List of licensed programmes and acquisitions

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Banksia Productions

Cosgrove Hall


Hibbert Ralph Entertainment

Link Entertainment

Martin Gates Productions

Little Entertainment Company

Maddocks Animation

Siriol Productions Ltd

Queensgate Productions

Carrington Productions International

Sleepy Kids

Tell-Tale Productions



Tube Studios

Woodland Animations


Distribution rights



  1. ^ "Entertainment Rights Plc: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  2. ^ "UK: Making it Tough for Tots - Sleepy Kids". Management Today. 1 June 1992. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Skd Media To Buy Out Carrington Productions". Broadcast. 29 October 1999. Retrieved 15 November 2011.(subscription required)
  4. ^ "SKD boosts overseas sales profile". Broadcast. 26 November 1999. Retrieved 15 November 2011.(subscription required)
  5. ^ Johnson, Debra (28 March 2001). "Entertainment Rights buys Link Licensing". C21media. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  6. ^ Waller, Ed (7 November 2001). "Entertainment Rights buys Postman Pat creator". C21Media. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Tweenies maker bought for £3.1m". BBC News. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  8. ^ Rick DeMott, Rick (26 March 2004). "Entertainment Rights Acquires Filmation". Animation World Network. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Welcome to the new mad.co.uk". Technologyweekly.mad.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Noddy owner rejects bid approach". BBC News. 3 February 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  11. ^ Lianne Stewart (1 August 2005). "Siriol heads south, and Lyons moves on". Kidscreen. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Genius Products announces long-term co-production and distribution agreements with Entertainment Rights PLC and Classic Media". Genius Products. Wayback Machine. 8 January 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Dugan New Head of Entertainment Rights North America".
  14. ^ Roberts, Katie (8 December 2008). "ER announces new CEO". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  15. ^ Andrews, Amanda; Harrington, Ben (7 January 2009). "Three companies in talks to buy Entertainment Rights". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  16. ^ Loveday, Samantha (26 January 2009). "Six bid for Entertainment Rights". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  17. ^ Loveday, Samantha (23 January 2009). "Now Entertainment Rights is hit with FSA fine". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  18. ^ Chas Tang (10 August 2009). "Entertainment Rights Plc - four months on". Entertainment Rights Shareholders Action. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  19. ^ Loveday, Samantha (23 January 2009). "Boomerang Media acquires Entertainment Rights' subsidiaries". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  20. ^ Tribbey, Chris (11 May 2009). "Classic Media Absorbs Subsidiaries". Home Media Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  21. ^ Verrier, Richard (23 July 2012). "DreamWorks Animation buys 'Casper,' 'Lassie' parent Classic Media". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Life post Pat". The Guardian. 15 January 2001. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Postman Pat sold for Ł5m". BBC News. 8 November 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2017.