The Chernin Group and AT&T have officially picked up a controlling stake in one of YouTube’s biggest networks. Two months after a deal was first reported, the two media companies have announced a big investment in Fullscreen.
The terms of the deal were not reported, though Recode believes the deal to be worth somewhere between $200 million and $300 million. Through the deal, Chernin Group and AT&T will obtain a majority stake in the network that “works with more than 50,000 content creators who engage 450 million subscribers and generate 4 billion monthly views,” according to a press release announcing the deal.
The Chernin Group has been an investor in Fullscreen since the network’s 2011 launch. As Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin explains in a release, Fullscreen founder George Strompolos and his team “launched Fullscreen in our offices.” “Since then, George and the Fullscreen team have achieved something remarkable,” he added, “they have built one of the largest online content distribution networks, as well as created a leadership position in youth-oriented video programming.”
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The Chernin Group and AT&T invested in Fullscreen through Otter Media, a joint venture focused on over-the-top (OTT) video distribution. Through Fullscreen, Otter Media has gained control of an expansive library of content it could use to populate an OTT service. That sort of arrangement would likely be attractive to Fullscreen, too. Like many other multi-channel networks, it is interested in building audiences outside of YouTube, and it was previously rumored to be building its own subscription-based video platform.
“This is a huge win for Fullscreen and our creators,” said Strompolos. “Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs and the entire team at The Chernin Group have supported our vision since day one. With AT&T as a strategic investor in Otter Media, we are well positioned to redefine youth media in today’s digital-first world. We could not ask for a better opportunity.”
All members of the Fullscreen executive team will retain their positions, where they will be tasked to keep doing what they do best: Monetizing, marketing, producing, and distributing online video channels across a variety of platforms.