Media Giant RTL Invests $36M in BroadbandTV

Media Giant RTL Invests $36M in BroadbandTV

RTL, the European broadcaster, has bought a 51 per cent stake in online video company BroadbandTV, mirroring similar recent deals by Time Warner and Comcast Ventures as media companies seek to gain a foothold in fast growing platforms such as YouTube.

BroadbandTV is the fifth largest “multi-channel network” on YouTube managing more than 7,800 channels that attract 800m video views a month. The company specialises in pooling together video content and generating revenue from it through online advertising.

The deal, which cost RTL $36m, marks the first move by a non-US broadcaster into such online multi-channel networks.

Shahrzad Rafati, founder and chief executive of BroadbandTV, said: “In addition to the competitive advantage for BroadbandTV, our customers and partners will benefit greatly from RTL Group’s global reach, advertising sales and expertise in producing amazing content.”

Following the investment, RTL will appoint three members to the board of BroadbandTV. RTL will also explore opportunities in the development of original content as part of the deal.

This is an excerpt. Click here to read the full article by Robert Budden in The Financial Times.

The Vancouver Sun reports the deal is the largest private placement in an Internet media company in Canada in the past six years. “The agreement will see both companies continue to operate independently, although RTL will add three members to BroadbandTV’s board of directors. In addition, the deal may see BroadbandTV venture into the realm of traditional TV as it helps RTL expand into digital territory.”

FanTrust president Catherine Warren has served as an advisor to BroadbandTV since its start-up phase and through this global growth.