AT&T has reportedly purchased Chernin Group’s controlling stake in Otter Media to enhance its content assets. As per sources, through this deal, both the companies will end their joint venture with Otter Media.
Post this acquisition, the telecom giant would get full control over Otter brands like Crunchyroll, Fullscreen, Ellation, VRV & Rooster Teeth. Reportedly, this deal was highly anticipated after AT&T acquired Time Warner and the chances fairly increased after an AT&T Executive Tony Goncalves was appointed as Otter’s CEO.
According to sources, Otter Media will now be a part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit and Otter’s CEO Tony Goncalves will report to John Stankey, CEO, WarnerMedia. Otter Media owns a stake in Gunpowder & Sky and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine as well.
According to the New York Times, this long anticipated deal is valued at $1 billion or even more. Incidentally, AT&T and Chernin’s TCG had launched Otter Media in 2014 to buy, invest & grow digital media businesses with an investment of $500 million. Its properties currently have 93 million monthly users with predicted video views of 75 billion by the end of this year.
As per reports, Peter Chernin, the Chairman and CEO and Jesse Jacobs, President, Chernin Group, started investing aggressively in the streaming businesses at a time when Hollywood was hesitant to accept technology. At the time, Hulu’s customers didn’t use the service extensively; and even Netflix had just 12 million subscribers, which has crossed over 130 million now.
When Chernin was probed about his future plans after this deal, he said that he will continue with movies, television shows, and would definitely invest in technology brands, as stated by reliable sources.
John Stankey, CEO, WarnerMedia, AT&T has expressed his pleasure about Otter Media brands and WarnerMedia working together. He further stated that they would now be able to advantageously use each other’s expertise in entertaining consumers around the globe.
Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed to the media.