This is a weird, but intriguing announcement. AT&T and The Chernin Group say today that they formed a venture “to acquire, invest in and launch over-the-top (OTT) video services.” (Jargon alert: OTT is industry-speak for an online service that can take the place of traditional pay TV.) The two have committed more than $500M, but offer no details about how much each has put up, ownership stakes, etc. — although Chernin’s kicking in his majority stake in subscription VOD service Crunchyroll. They plan to invest in ad and subscription VOD channels as well as streaming services. ”A critical part of The Chernin Group’s strategy has been our significant focus on the online video industry, and joining forces with AT&T only further underscores our strategic commitment in this area as operators, investors and programmers,” Chernin says. He adds that AT&T’s “massive reach on those platforms across mobile and broadband and their commitment to the online video space make them the perfect fit for this venture with us.” Chernin was a major supporter of Hulu back when he was Rupert Murdoch’s No. 2 at News Corp. AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Stankey says that the combo “creates the opportunity for us to develop a compelling offering in the OTT space.” AT&T will disclose its Q1 earnings, and talk with analysts, after the market closes today.
Now there are two: Guggenheim Digital Media and KKR have dropped out of the bidding for the video streaming service, CNBC reports from the Allen & Co. conference that draws hundreds of moguls each year to Sun Valley, Idaho. The sole remaining bidders for Hulu are DirecTV and the Chernin Group/AT&T partnership. Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting that Time Warner Cable offered to acquire a stake in the company. Hulu’s owners Fox and Disney want about $1B for the company. (Comcast also is a co-owner but relinquished control over Hulu’s affairs as a condition to win government approval to buy NBCUniversal.)
Peter Chernin’s media company The Chernin Group has acquired a stake in online video business Base 79, the largest YouTube network in the EMEA region. The Financial Times values TCG’s investment at about $10M in return for a 28% stake. (TCG last week secured its own investment of about $100M from Qatar Holding, which followed a nearly $200M investment from Providence Equity Partners earlier this year.) Chernin also has investments in Scopely, Tumblr and Flipboard. Base 79 has over 550 YouTube channels and more than 300 premium content partners including BBC Worldwide, Tiger Aspect and SyCo. The full press release is below:
LONDON — Base79, one of Europe’s leading online video companies and the largest YouTube network in the Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) region, today announced that it has received a strategic equity investment from The Chernin Group (“TCG”), alongside continued participation from existing investor MMC Ventures. Proceeds from the round will be used to accelerate Base79’s expansion across Europe and into other global territories, to build owned-and-operated brands and channels, and to invest in the Company’s products and technology. Founded in 2007, the Company has offices in London, New York and Sydney, and has plans to increase its presence in continental Europe within the next 12 months.
Peter Chernin is expanding financial support for his Chernin Group media company with an investment from Qatar Holding. Financial terms were not disclosed, but a person familiar with the deal told Deadline the investment is in the $100 million range. “The Chernin Group will use this capital to expand and diversify the Company’s media and entertainment operations in the U.S. and across Asia”, the company said in a statement today. The Qatar contribution follows a nearly $200 million investment from private equity firm Providence Equity Partners earlier this year. Chernin founded his media company after exiting as president of News Corp in 2009. Chernin Entertainment, the movie and TV production arm, co-released last year’s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and co-produces Fox’s New Girl. You can read the original release here:
CA Media, the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group (TCG), and Endemol, the world’s largest independent television producer, today announced the formation of a strategic alliance in which CA Media has acquired a 49% stake in Endemol India. CA Media and Endemol’s strategy is to build Endemol India into the leading and most valuable content production company in India across television, film and digital content. Deepak Dhar, who has been Managing Director of Endemol India since 2007, will continue to lead the company and is promoted to CEO.
Longtime Hollywood mogul Peter Chernin‘s indie company has just received a new infusion of capital to help with his goal of expanding into a global media company “across all fronts with this additional expertise and resources”. Led by Providence Equity Partners, the investors are taking what’s being called a “significant minority equity stake” in his television/movie/Internet company The Chernin Group. The official announcement will be made Monday morning. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Deadline has learned the investment is $200M. Chernin and Providence CEO Jonathan Nelson became chummy while they worked together to establish the online video site Hulu as a joint venture with NBCUniversal. The pair tell the Financial Times they also looked at making a bid for Yahoo together over a year — but then decided against it. They say the new partnership would have the resources to pursue “any deal of any size” around the world, from making multibillion-dollar bids to incubating start-ups. And they say their first deals are “very close” and could be announced within weeks.