Gifts Today magazine

Boost for Outlander licence

Rocket to manage UK licensing for hit fantasy drama now on free-to-air TV in Britain

Independent licensing company Rocket Licensing has been appointed by Sony Pictures Television to manage UK licensing for Outlander, the hit time-travelling drama set in Scotland and inspired by the wildly popular novels by Diana Gabaldon.

Outlander’s story of a World War II nurse who travels back in time and finds herself caught up in the Jacobite risings in the 1740s has won strong ratings, multiple awards and a devoted following, both on Starz in the US and on Amazon PrimeVideo in the UK. It now boasts fans in dozens of countries.

The show broke Amazon Prime Video records in the UK to become the most viewed show on the service in its premiere week. In June this year the series arrived on free-to-air TV channel More4 to a record-breaking audience of over a million viewers breaking the channel’s one million viewer threshold for the first time since 2012. Over 100,000 viewers were first-time visitors to the channel. Outlander remains a highlight of More4’s weekly programming, continuing to attract big audiences, while also performing strongly on DVD and VoD.

With two seasons already produced and another on the way, the UK can enjoy the fruits of an Outlander licensing campaign that has caught the imagination of fans in the US and a number of other countries.

The show’s potent combination of fantasy, adventure, drama and romance has inspired a strong licensing launch in the US, with a product range to date that extends from apparel and accessories – such as kilts, shawls, jewellery and tams – to shortbread, calendars, posters, t-shirts, drinkware, novelties, collectibles, books, trading cards, figures, and both prop and costume replicas.

The initial phase of the UK campaign, managed by Rocket Licensing will also focus on these categories and, of course, with BLE imminent the show will be a strong focus on Rocket’s stand (F5), where potential licensees will hear about the extraordinary and growing devoted fan base, who are inspired by the series, its characters and its compelling storyline.

The first licensing announcements are expected before the end of 2017, with the first phase of product launches likely to take place in autumn/winter 2018.

Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, says: 'There hasn’t been a property quite like Outlander for a very long time. It has caught the imagination of viewers worldwide and inspired a successful licensing campaign that has enjoyed great success in the US. Now — at last — the UK has a chance to fall under the spell of this gripping tale. We’re sure the retail and consumer interest in licensed product will be equally strong.'

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