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Escape Hunt secures new licensing deal with BBC for Doctor Who themed escape rooms

The AIM-listed leisure firm said it would open the first of the themed escape rooms in December 2018 following the launch of the new Doctor Who TV series in autumn
TARDIS and Daleks
Escape Hunt added that branded content in its rooms would broaden their appeal

Escape Hunt PLC (LON:ESC) has signed a five-year exclusive licence agreement with BBC Studios to create escape rooms themed around the Doctor Who franchise.

The AIM-listed leisure firm, which runs a series of escape rooms around the UK, said it would open the first of the themed escape rooms in December 2018 following the launch of the new Doctor Who TV series in autumn.

READ: Escape Hunt arrives in the UK with opening of Bristol site after rebranding delays

Escape Hunt added that it expected the use of branded content in its escape rooms would broaden their appeal to both the public and corporate clients and would help drive footfall and brand awareness in the sector.

Richard Harpham, Escape Hunt’s chief executive, said strength in different content genres was “absolutely key” to the group’s content strategy, adding that Doctor Who “represents the very best in British action adventure and has a loyal and dedicated fan base that spans all generations”.

In a separate announcement, the firm released a trading update ahead of its interim results, saying its rebranding and game design reviews had had the "desired effect" on performance.

The group said the three sites that it had opened earlier in the year were translating into good financial performance, with revenue and underlying earnings (EBITDA) contributions, relative to the number of games rooms opened, having met company expectations.

Escape added that due to the new licensing agreement with the BBC, it had deliberately held back on building games in all of its available rooms in order to leave capacity for the new branded content that would launch at the end of 2018.

The company also said after an initial delay, it would be opening its next three sites in the coming weeks and another two in the last quarter of the year, bringing its total number of sites to nine. However, the firm added that while it remained strategically on track, the revised opening schedule coupled with holding back spare rooms would current year performance.

Escape Hunt will release its interim results for the half year ended June 2018 in September.

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