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Chernin’s Otter buying MCN Fullscreen

Peter Chernin is adding leading multichannel operator Fullscreen to its growing media empire.

George StrompolosOtter Media, which is a joint venture of The Chernin Group and US telco AT&T, have agreed to buy the company for an undisclosed amount. Otter was established to invest in, acquire and launch OTT services.

Recode, which originally linked Otter to Fullscreen, valued to deal at between US$200 million and US$300 million. This is far less than the US$500 million (potentially rising to US$950 million) Disney to paying to buy Fullscreen rival Maker Studios.

Fullscreen founder and CEO George Strompolos will continue as chief exec following completion of the deal, and retain a “material” stake in the firm. All of the current management team will retain their roles.

The company works with around 50,000 online content creators and claims four million subs and four billion monthly views. It employs around 200 staff members, and counts The Fine Bros., Connor Franta and Devin Supertramp among its talent roster.

It has been linked with former News Corp boss Chernin since inception in 2011, when it launched at The Chernin Group offices.

“Since then, George and the Fullscreen team have achieved something remarkable – they have built one of the largest online content distribution networks, as well as created a leadership position in youth-oriented video programming,” said Peter Chernin, chairman and CEO of The Chernin Group.

“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.”

The deal is expected to close within the next month, subject to regulatory approval.

WPP, which invested in Fullscreen in a funding round Chernin lead last year and which last week helped launch digital firm Indigenous Media, will continue as a shareholder.