& cplSiteName &

AT&T Nabs Control of Otter Media

Jeff Baumgartner
8/7/2018
50%
50%

Pouring more resources into its over-the-top video strategy, AT&T has snapped up a controlling interest in Otter Media, a joint venture that AT&T and The Chernin Group launched in 2014.

They didn't reveal the value of the deal, but AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said it would not have a material effect on its first-half 2018 results, when the bulk of the deal was funded. Analysts value the sale to AT&T at about $1 billion, according to The New York Times. AT&T and The Chernin Group originally committed $500 million to the project. (See AT&T's OTT Venture Buys Creativebug, Calls Itself Otter Media.)

The deal, rumored for months, gives AT&T full control of an OTT video portfolio that includes Ellation, a subsidiary that runs VRV, a subscription VoD aggregation service, and Crunchyroll, a popular Anime-focused SVoD offering. Otter Media also controls other streaming/digital properties that include Fullscreen and Rooster Teeth, content studio Gunpowder & Sky, and Hello Sunshine, a media company founded by actress/entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon.

As an SVoD aggregation service, VRV hawks an array of OTT services on a standalone basis and in a deeply discounted bundle.
As an SVoD aggregation service, VRV hawks an array of OTT services on a standalone basis and in a deeply discounted bundle.

AT&T hasn't disclosed Otter Media's revenues or if it has managed to achieve profitability, but claimed that Otter Media's properties and services have a combined global audience of more than 93 million unique monthly consumers, and are on pace to deliver more than 75 billion video views this year. Otter Media's SVoD services have more than 2 million paying subs, AT&T said.

Otter Media will become part of WarnerMedia, the unit formed following AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner Inc. Tony Goncalves, an exec who came to AT&T via the DirecTV merger and was named CEO of Otter Media in February, will continue to run the company and report to WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey. (See DOJ Says Judge Erred in AT&T-Time Warner Merger Appeal .)

The deal gives AT&T full ownership of a broader mix of digital assets. Though the long-term strategy for the deal hasn't been revealed, Goncalves told the Times to expect to "see a good amount of cross-pollination."

That seems to hint that AT&T could use Otter Media's content to enhance and differentiate AT&T's OTT TV services, including DirecTV Now and WatchTV, a new sports-free skinny bundle featuring more than 30 linear channels and a VoD library that AT&T will offer for free to mobile subs on two new unlimited data plans, and for $15 per month as a standalone service.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
T-Mobile to Play the Customer Care Card With Layer3 TV
Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading, 8/15/2018
Australia Could Open 5G Door to Huawei
Robert Clark, 8/16/2018
Video Navigation Gets an AI Assist
Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading, 8/16/2018
Eurobites: Deutsche Telekom Pulls Out of Iran
Iain Morris, International Editor, 8/17/2018
Animals with Phones
When Your Cat Hijacks Your Tech Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed