Studio 71, the digital video arm incubated within Prosieben, just received another sizable influx of capital. The multi-channel network, has just announced that TF1 Group, France’s most popular domestic television network, and Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, have become minority shareholders in the company with a combined investment of 53 million euros ($56 million in US currency) at a valuation of approximately 400 million euros while the network’s parent company, ProSiebenSat.1, still holds approximately 70% of Studio71 shares.
The proceeds will be used to fund additional premium content and IP as well as further territory expansion in hopes of becoming the top global premium digital video network for creators.
Studio71 plans to establish local operations in France and Italy and will acquire a strategic minority interest in premium MCN, Finder Studios, of which the TF1 Group is the controlling shareholder. They also plan to partner with Mediaset to launch Studio71 in the Italian market. Each entity will feature content from the broadcasters’ most successful TV shows in addition to content from Studio71’s top creators.
“The partnership with TF1 Group and Mediaset gives us access to key European markets where the online video market is just now picking up momentum and promising significant potential,” announced Christof Wahl, Member of the Executive Board, Digital, & COO ProSiebenSat.1 Group, in a press release. “With the united marketing power of our media companies, we have an attractive ecosystem to promote our content creators and create more value for our advertising partners.”
In the press release announcing the new operations in France and Italy, Olivier Abecassis, Vice President Innovation and Digital at the TF1 Group, stressed that the “deal was absolutely in line with the strategy being driven by TF1’s CEO,” and that “by becoming the operator of Studio71 France, [they] are bolstering [their] presence in multi-platform premium online video,” including their status as a key partner for emerging web creatives.
This is the first major investment Studio71 has received after the merger between the US-based multi-channel network Collective Digital Studio and the Berlin-based MCN Studio71. ProSiebenSat.1 previously closed an $83 million investment deal for 75% of CDS back in July 2015.