Below the Radar wins high value contracts

Invest Northern Ireland has helped a new television production company to secure contracts worth over £500,000 with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Channel 4 and Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) in its first two years of trading.

Belfast-based Below the Radar (BTR) specialises in researching and producing innovative current affairs programmes and documentaries for local and export media markets.

Invest NI offered £25,000 of assistance for the company to recruit key staff and promote its services in external markets. This was instrumental in securing the lucrative deals, as well as further establishing BTR in the market and increasing the possibility of securing more high value export projects.

Some of the documentaries produced for the BBC contracts were aired late last year, including a 20 minute film for the Newsnight programme, and others will be broadcast during 2008. The Newsnight contract was the first project with the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programme that involved a Northern Irish production company.

As part of the Channel 4 deal, BTR produced a series of investigative reports for the station’s evening news bulletin, and the RTE contracts required BTR to produce two high quality analytical investigations.

Maurice Patterson, Invest NI’s Eastern Regional Office Manager, said: “Invest NI is committed to helping new companies with export potential in the critical early stages of their development. BTR is an innovative company that has used our support to position itself internationally in this high growth sector.”

Following a recruitment campaign, BTR embarked on a marketing campaign that involved designing a corporate brand image and targeting potential export markets throughout Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and the United States.

Trevor Birney, Managing Director of BTR, commenting on the BBC, Channel 4 and RTE successes, said: “The importance of experienced employees in such a competitive and fast-moving business is paramount, and our early success has depended significantly on the knowledge and skills of our people. We are also now in an even more competitive position as a result of the effective marketing strategy that has been implemented and look forward to increasing our business in export markets.”