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SoftBank buys VOD site DramaFever

Japanese telco SoftBank has agreed to buy US-based DramaFever, a streaming site that offers on-demand access to Asian and Latino drama.

Founded in 2009, DramaFever initially focused on offering Korean dramas with English subtitles, later branching out into telenovelas.

SoftBank has been aggressively pushing into content after cash freed up from the IPO of China’s Alibaba Group, of which SoftBank is the largest single shareholder.

The firm invested US$250 million in film and TV group Legendary Entertainment, and was in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation, though the latter deal did not materialise.

DramaFever now claims to offer series and films from 70 major broadcasters and studios throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas, with a mission to be “a destination for new cultural experiences through entertainment”.

“This is a triumphant day for our content partners who have demonstrated that engaging stories and characters transcend languages and borders,” said DramaFever co-founder and co-CEO Suk Park.

“It is also a great day for our viewers, who can continue to expect DramaFever to bring them the best series and movies from around the world. With the support of SoftBank, we will be further empowered to curate the content that our increasingly global audience of young, passionate viewers loves.”

SoftBank said it has entered a definitive agreement to buy DramaFever, though terms of the deal were not disclosed.