The Chernin Group and AT&T are making a major investment in online video, committing $500 million to a new venture that will acquire and invest a Netflix-like streaming video service. AT&T, the nation’s second largest broadband provider, partnered with Chernin last year in a bid to acquire Hulu.
Disney and Fox decided to keep the company, and now the two have decided to create their own service. AT&T will provide the technological foundation, as it already boasts more than 110 million wireless subscribers and 16 million broadband customers.
Chernin will bring its media savvy. In addition to operating a successful television and film production house, TCG has been one of the most aggressive companies in the growing streaming video business. it invested in prominent online video network Fullscreen and owns a majority stake in Crunchyroll, a subscription service for anime. Chernin will bring Crunchyroll into this venture.
“AT&T and The Chernin Group are combining our skill sets to address the growing consumer demand for accessing content how and when they want it,” AT&T’s chief strategy officer John Stankey said in a statement.. “Combining our expertise in network infrastructure, mobile, broadband and video with The Chernin Group’s management and expertise in content, distribution, and monetization models in online video creates the opportunity for us to develop a compelling offering in the OTT space.”
The companies provided few details about this service, which could come fully formed or be cobbled together through a series of acquisition. Verizion has been planning a similar product, but it looks like AT&T wants to get ahead of that.