One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T® is currently in talks with Peter Chernin to acquire the remaining part of Otter Media, the three-year-old joint venture between the two parties. Reports indicate that the latest move from AT&T® is a part of their wider effort to clean up a number of their joint ventures before they acquire Time Warner®.
Some of the joint ventures of the telecom giant, AT&T® include stakes in the NHL Network, the MLB Network, and the Game Show Network, but a few of AT&T’s joint ventures belong to their DirecTV® unit. Reports from several reliable sources claim that AT&T® might be buying out the stake of Chernin Group, but Peter Chernin will remain close to the telecom company.
It was earlier reported that Chernin has been discussing a closer relation with the telecom company and he might be even joining AT&T® in a corporate role. However, a spokeswoman who represented categorically denied such claims. “AT&T® is not pursuing Peter Chernin for a role, and there are zero discussions about such a relationship,” she said in a press release.
Reports also claim that the joint venture between the two parties, Otter Media, which has invested in a wide range of over-the-top ventures, might be approximately $1 billion worth. Otter Media owns a piece of Asian video hub Crunchyroll and how-to site Creativebu. Additionally, they also have a majority stake in the online media company named Fullscreen.
Some of the most recent project of Otter Media is a venture with Van Toffler, who is a former Viacom music executive for creating Gunpowder & Sky. Otter Media had also announced a joint venture with Reese Witherspoon, known as Hello Sunshine. The Hollywood actor had stated that the new venture would primarily focus on female driven projects.
In addition to that, Chernin Group is also the owner of Chernin Entertainment that houses a film and TV production unit. Chernin Entertainment, which is partially owned by Providence Equity, also backs a number of digital ventures such as Barstool Sports. However, reports indicate that AT&T® is not currently eyeing the production house.
Although one of the best internet service providers in the country, AT&T® is in the midst of acquiring Time Warner® to strengthen its grip in the video arena. However, they have been encountering strong opposition from a number of Senators and customers. Justice department officials are checking the contacts for the proposed merger at the moment.