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Sony Pictures Television International Streamlines Production Group; Brings 2waytraffic and existing production operations under one roof

Kees Abrahams appointed president, international production, SPTI / Mike Morley joins the company as executive vice president and chief creative officer, international production

(PresseBox) (London, ) Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) announced today that it has streamlined its international production group, by bringing 2waytraffic and SPTI's production operations under one roof. The move follows last year's acquisition of Hilversum-based 2waytraffic and investments in several independent production companies across Europe.

As part of the new structure, Kees Abrahams, who was formerly CEO of 2waytraffic, is now SPTI's president, international production, and runs SPTI's entire production portfolio, including 2waytraffic. Abrahams, who remains based in 2waytraffic's Hilversum headquarters, oversees 2waytraffic's extensive portfolio of light entertainment formats including one of the most successful shows of all time, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and others such as Take It Or Leave It and You Are What You Eat in addition to successful SPTI formats such as Dragons' Den. In his new remit, Abrahams manages SPTI's international production group, which has produced over 9,000 hours of programming in over 30 countries in 13 languages and has offices in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Miami, the People's Republic of China, Russia, Spain and the U.K. He is also responsible for managing SPTI's investments in several production companies in the U.K. and throughout Europe. Today's announcement was made by Michael Grindon, SPTI's president, to whom Abrahams reports.

Key to the new structure is the appointment of Mike Morley as SPTI's executive vice president and chief creative officer, international production, reporting to Abrahams and based in London. Morley heads up all creative aspects of SPTI's production group for both scripted and non-scripted content, as well as format sales and acquisitions planning. He is also responsible for developing formats that can be adapted in multiple territories, including the U.S. Both Abrahams and Morley will work with Sony Pictures Entertainment's U.S. television business, Sony Pictures Television (SPT), to bring formats to the U.S., and will also work on the international rollout of SPT's formats, including those of newly-acquired Embassy Row, Michael Davies' U.S. production company, plus perennial favourites such as The Newlywed Game and Pyramid.

"Kees and Mike have worked together in the past, so bringing them together at SPTI makes perfect sense," said Grindon. "Kees helped guide 2waytraffic to become a leading entertainment company and he brings a wealth of experience to the management of our various production businesses. Mike has an impressive track record in developing content and is uniquely qualified to provide creative leadership for the entire production group, while also developing successful scripted and non-scripted formats."

Abrahams was one of three executives who founded 2waytraffic in 2004. Since then, he has led the company to become one of the leading providers of content for exploitation over multiple platforms, including television, mobile and the Web. Under his guidance, 2waytraffic's diverse portfolio has grown to over 200 formats, and after it was acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2008, its catalogue, combined with that of SPTI's, represents one of the largest and most diverse light entertainment catalogues in the world. Prior to co-founding 2waytraffic, Abrahams was executive director at Endemol International, overseeing the Endemol Interactive activities in 23 countries worldwide. Additionally, Abrahams was responsible for several mergers and acquisitions, as well as the interactive aspects of the blockbuster reality format, Big Brother. Abrahams trained as a lawyer after studying at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Morley was formerly Endemol International's senior executive director, commercial and creative affairs. He had been with Endemol since 2000 during which time he held a number of management positions, including managing director of Endemol Poland before moving on to head up Endemol's global creative team and overseeing all of the group's international format sales, distribution and program acquisitions. Prior to Endemol, Morley held senior roles at Carlton TV and Central TV. He recently published his first novel, Spider, and his second novel, Viper, is due to be published in the U.K. in February.

About 2waytraffic

2waytraffic, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, is a global leader in the development, aggregation, distribution and exploitation of light entertainment content across television, mobile and digital platforms. Founded in 2004, 2waytraffic rapidly grew from an independent start-up to a publicly listed global organisation, and in June 2008 the company was acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).

As part of SPE, 2waytraffic's light entertainment catalogue has been combined with that of the international television division - Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) - creating one of the largest and most diverse light entertainment catalogues in the world. Under SPTI's management, 2waytraffic is responsible for the distribution of all of the company's light entertainment content.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, 2waytraffic has eight local offices including one in the UK, and currently oversees activities in more than 60 territories worldwide.

With a diverse portfolio of more than 200 formats which includes some of the world's most successful entertainment properties (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Dragons' Den, 50-50, The Gong Show, Power of 10, Take It Or Leave It and You Are What You Eat), 2waytraffic is focused on creating a compelling content catalogue for exploitation over multiple platforms, providing a complete offering for television, mobile and the web.

Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH

Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) is the division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) responsible for all television business outside of the United States. SPTI operates three complementary lines of business: 1) distribution of SPE's feature films and television programming to television, mobile and digital content delivery outlets around the world, 2) local television production in key international markets, and 3) international television networks. In addition to being a leader in the distribution of current and classic U.S. and international films and television product worldwide, SPTI produces high profile, locally produced television in local languages. With dedicated offices in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Miami (Latin America), the People's Republic of China, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom, SPTI currently oversees production in nine regions of the world and is a leader in international television production among all major Hollywood. SPTI's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with over 50 networks in more than 130 countries reaching almost 400 million households worldwide. SPTI is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.