The Tinopolis Group is an international TV production and distribution group with businesses based in the UK and US and a portfolio spanning 13 content production companies across all genres – from big scale entertainment and award-winning factual to critically acclaimed drama and ground-breaking live sports coverage. The group also includes international distributor, Passion Distribution. Tinopolis produces over 4,500 hours of television annually for more than 200 UK and foreign broadcasters.[1]

TypePrivately held company
IndustryTelevision production
HeadquartersLlanelli, Wales
Number of locations
5 Production Bases (2018)
Key people
Ron Jones, Executive chairman
Arwel Rees, CEO
Angharad Mair, Chairman Wales
Jeff Foulser, Chairman Sunset + Vine
John Willis, CEO Mentorn
Revenue£216 million (2017)
£15.65 million (2017)
£1.09 million (2017)
Number of employees
539 (2017)


Llanelli, Wales, became such a significant regional producer of tin that it was referred to as "Tinopolis" by the latter half of the 19th century.[2] Hence the parent company took this name when it was established there in 1990.[3] It was one of the few television production companies to be publicly listed and its acquisition of major UK competitors contributed to its growth in the early 21st century.

Tinopolis purchased The Television Corporation, the parent company of Sunset + Vine and Mentorn, in 2006.[4]

The Tinopolis division, based in Llanelli has been a mainstay of Welsh language television for many years and specialises in live programmes.

The sport division, Sunset + Vine, was founded in 1983, and won several BAFTA awards for its horse racing coverage and its cricket coverage for Channel 4. They also provide a large amount of coverage of American sports for Five including MLB coverage from launch in 1997 until 2008.

Mentorn and Folio, the main factual brands, are amongst the longest established and respected independent producers in the UK.

Video Arts, the training media company, was founded in 1972 by comic John Cleese, and since trained about 100,000 organisations in approximately 50 countries.[3] Video Arts was purchased by Tinopolis in 2007.[3]

In 1988, writer and director Ed Thomas founded Fiction Factory, a company now part of Tinopolis.

Shares of Tinopolis plc were listed on London's Alternative Investment Market in 2005.[4] It was widely held by major institutions and purchased in 2008 for £44.7 million by management and private equity company Vitruvian Partners, taking the company private again.[4][5][6]

In late 2009 Tinopolis acquired Pioneer Productions, the leading factual producer.[7]

During 2011 Tinopolis expanded its operations overseas through the acquisition of A Smith & Co Productions in June 2011 and BASE Productions in August 2011[8]

The management of Tinopolis bought out their long standing investor Vitruvian Partners in October 2017[9]


Tinopolis has production centres in London, Los Angeles, Llanelli, Glasgow and Cardiff.

Operating subsidiaries
Company Genre Annual output (h) Major titles Notes
Tinopolis Cymru Welsh language programmes Prynhawn Da, Heno, Y Stiwdio Gefn, Loris Mansel Davies and Ar y Bysus
Daybreak Pictures Drama The Politician's Husband, Endgame, The Promise and Hyde Park on Hudson David Aukin and Hal Vogel
Fiction Factory Films Drama Caerdydd, Y Pris, Gwaith/Cartref, Pen Talar, Y Gwyll/Hinterland Ed Thomas
Mentorn Various Question Time, Robot Wars, Traffic Cops,An Idiot Abroad, Inside London Fire Brigade and Paradise Hotel
A.Smith & Co Various Hell's Kitchen, American Ninja Warrior and The Titan Games
MSV Post Post-Production
Passion Distribution Distributor RuPaul's Drag Race and Paradise Hotel
Thunderclap Factual Entertainment Galdem Sugar
Sunset + Vine Sport 2000
Channel 5

MLB on Five (1997–2008)
NFL on Five (1997–2010)
NBA on Five (1997–2008)
NHL on Five (1998–2006)
Cricket on Five (2006–present)
Football on 5 UEFA Cup & Europa League (1997–2012), Football League Tonight (2015–present)

BT Sport

Football Coverage including Premier League, FA Cup and European Football (2013–present)
Rugby Coverage including Premiership Rugby & European Rugby (2013–present)

BBC Sport

Horse Racing Coverage including Derby & Royal Ascot (2004–2012)
The Grand National Steeplechase (2008–2012)
Women's Football including FA Women's Cup Final, Euro 2013 & World Cup 2015 (2012–present)
Cricket Coverage including World Twenty20 & Cricket World Cup (2009–2011)
Host Broadcaster for Glasgow Commonwealth Games (2014)
2012 London Olympics Sailing Coverage (2012)
NFL (2007–2012)
BBC Scotland Produced all BBC Sport Scotland coverage including Football, Rugby, Shinty, Curling & Bowls (2006–present)

Channel 4

World Athletics Championships (2011)
Cricket Coverage including Live Test and County Matches and One Day Highlights (1999–2005)
Paralympic Coverage including London 2012, Sochi 2014 & Rio 2016 (2012–present)
Crufts (2010–present)
NFL Coverage (2010–2015)


ESPN UK Premiership Rugby Coverage (2010–2012) ITV Sport Tour de France (2002–2009)
Dubai World Cup (1998–present)
FIFA World Cup
Volvo Ocean Race
European Poker Tour
Gillette World Sport
Eurovision Dance Contest
Pakistan Super League (2016-2018)

Tinopolis Interactive Combined media and internet
for corporate clients
Video Arts Training

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Group". Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  2. ^ Jones, Bill; Lewis, Ronald L. (May 2007). "Gender and Transnationality among Welsh Tinplate Workers in Pittsburgh: The Hattie Williams Affair, 1895". Labor History. 48 (2): 178.
  3. ^ a b c "About". Video Arts. Archived from the original on 29 June 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Blake, Aled (1 July 2008). "Tinopolis profits surge in last results before delisting". Western Mail. Media Wales. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  5. ^ Barry, Sion (9 May 2008). "Tinopolis in £44m acquisition deal". Media Wales. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  6. ^ Thomson Financial (30 June 2008). "Tinopolis FY pretax profit 1.9 mln pounds vs 0.96 mln". Hemscott. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  7. ^ http://www.4rfv.co.uk/industrynews.asp?id=101949
  8. ^ Kelsey, Chris (29 June 2011). "Tinopolis buys US maker of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares". WalesOnline.
  9. ^ http://www.vitruvianpartners.com/vitruvian-sells-shareholding-leading-independent-content-company-tinopolis/
  10. ^ "Profile". Sunset + Vine. Retrieved 13 July 2008.

External linksEdit