Sony Pictures Television has finalized a deal to take a minority stake in The Whisper Group, a sports production company that makes live coverage of Formula 1 racing for British broadcaster Channel 4.
Sony will effectively replace Channel 4 as Whisper’s minority investor after the broadcaster first backed the company in 2015 as part of the Indie Growth Fund. Financial details were not disclosed.
Whisper was co-founded by CEO Sunil Patel, BT Sport broadcaster Jake Humphrey and former F1 driver and F1 commentator David Coulthard.
As well as F1, Whisper produces The NFL Show and NFL This Week for the BBC and swathe of other sports coverage, including the Paralympics, SailGP, Women’s Super League and International Cricket.
Sony’s president of international production Wayne Garvie said: “Whisper have become one of the most talked-about production companies in the UK. Very quickly, they have established themselves as an innovative leader in sports content.”
Whisper adds to Sony’s growing empire in the UK. The Hollywood studio acquired Octonauts producer Silvergate Media for just under $200M in December, while other companies under its wing include The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures and Eleventh Hour Films.