Los Angeles Business Journal

Burkle, Beckman Form TV, Digital Content Studio

By Jonathan Polakoff Monday, March 25, 2013

Billionaire Ron Burkle has made his latest investment in the entertainment industry, partnering with media veteran Richard Beckman to launch a branded TV and digital content studio called Three Lions Entertainment.

Burkle, with a net worth estimated at $4.5 billion, ranked fifth on the Business Journal’s 2012 list of Wealthiest Angelenos. He built his fortune in the supermarket industry, but has more recently shifted his focus to Hollywood, including taking a stake in independent studio Relativity Media.

Three Lions will produce so-called branded content, which gives advertisers a certain degree of creative input into a program to communicate a message to consumers. The idea is already popular online, and in moving the model to TV, the idea is for producers to supplement licensing revenue they receive from TV networks.

Three Lions will produce its first two programs in 2014 based on the live entertainment events, “Fashion Rocks” and “Movies Rock,” which were both created for the U.S. by Beckman while he worked at Condé Nast Media Group.

Burkle said in a statement he sees significant demand from advertisers for such branded content.

“The intersection of quality entertainment and marketing is the golden equation for brands wanting to move the needle with consumers today,” Burkle said in a statement.

A third, minority, partner in the venture is Joel Katz, global chair of the international media and entertainment practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP.