‘Operation Transformation’ TV firm in rude health with €48k profit rise

The television production company behind RTÉ’s reality health and fitness show Operation Transformation last year saw its accumulated profits rise by just over €48,000 to €427,092.

Newly filed accounts for Vision Independent Productions — which is co-owned by television producer Philip Kampff — show that in the 12 months to the end of last September, the company’s cashpile jumped from €211,248 to €345,376.

A celebrity version of Operation Transformation is set to launch next month. 

It forms a key part of RTÉ’s autumn schedule and the broadcaster last year contracted Vision Independent Productions to provide eight-and-a-half transmission hours of the show, fronted by Kathryn Thomas.

Vision co-owns the show with RTÉ.

The production company’s profit rise was more modest than in its preceding financial year, mainly due to it investing in www.twinstrangers.com — a website that helps people find their doppelganger from anywhere in the world.

Mr Kampff said the firm had shows on RTÉ, TV3, and UTV Ireland, but its most significant step in 2015 was its first move into digital via the twinstrangers website.

“The site grew quickly and now has over 1.4m people from over 40 countries,” he said. 

“We have been featured on news shows and magazines around the world.”

Asked about the main factors behind Vision’s successful year, Mr Kampff said: “We could see there was less of an appetite for original TV formats so we have focused on doing more live events.

“Last year, we did live shows from Bloom and the National Ploughing Championships. This year we have done the RTÉ Country Music Awards and Road To The Dome — a documentary on the Rose of Tralee.”

On the role of Operation Transformation in the business, Mr Kampff said: “Operation Transformation was the first real multi-platform show; it has grown over nine seasons. It hasn’t become a big hit overseas but it’s important to us because it’s a show that goes beyond business, it has a positive impact on people’s lives and that is very rewarding to see.

“It’s popular because it’s based on a very simple idea of ‘follow the leader’, leading by example.”

Asked about the prospects for the celebrity version, he said: “They are taking it very seriously so I think it will be strong.”

Regarding Vision’s short-term prospects, Mr Kampff said: “The TV model is changing. We are involved in a lot more branded content with shows like The Restaurant and Super Garden.

“There are very few opportunities for new formats emerging in Ireland although we have a new quiz Search, filmed on the street, starting on RTÉ 2 in October that I think has great potential.”


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