More companies are sponsoring television programmes and this has presented an opportunity for FBC Group, which has done nicely by making series such as Fashion House for Nokia and Road to Athens for Visa International. It is a producer for Sky News and Sky Sports in Italy and claims to sell programmes to 100 countries in 17 languages. FBC was founded by Alan Friedman with a private investment from Giorgio Garuzzo, former chief operating officer of Fiat, and more than £12m in several tranches from investors including Telecom Italia. The firm has grown sales 63% a year, from £3.8m in 2001 to £16.5m in 2004. Last year it spent £6m acquiring Diverse, the company behind the Channel 4 hit Operatunity.
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