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Jeremy Zimmer
UTA's Jeremy Zimmer (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

UTA Launches Joint Venture With Valence Media

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — United Talent Agency on Wednesday announced the launch of Civic Center Media, a new joint venture with Valence Media and its independent studio division, Media Rights Capital (MRC) to develop, produce and finance premium television content.

The deal will give UTA a minority stake in Civic Center Media and will provide the agency’s clients with access to the studio’s development and production capabilities. 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, UTA said.

The scope of UTA’s stake in Civic Center Media and other financial details of the deal were not disclosed. As well, the partnership is not exclusive and Civic Center Media will seek to develop projects with artists represented by all talent agencies.

Additionally, UTA will continue to collaborate with other studios and MRC will continue to look for development projects from other sources beyond the joint venture.

The leadership of the new venture is also an open question and UTA said a search for an exec to helm to the new JV is currently underway.

Valence Media’s portfolio includes developing and producing television hits such as House of Cards, Ozark, Counterpart, as well as big screen entries such as Ted, and Baby Driver.

Valence has also selectively co-financed a spate of 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 content distributors like HBO, Apple, Starz, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Sony, CBS, and ABC.

“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.”

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