RTL Group Invests In Broadband TV, Enhances Global Reach



As part of a larger plan to realign the Web video marketplace, RTL Group has invested $36 million in Vancouver-based video network BroadbandTV.

The European entertainment network -- owner of FremantleMedia -- said the deal is part of a planned series of investments in BroadbandTV.

Along with the investment, Shahrzad Rafati, founder and CEO of BroadbandTV, said: “Our customers and partners will benefit greatly from RTL Group’s global reach [and] advertising sales.”

Per the deal, RTL Group now holds a 51% stake in BroadbandTV. In addition, RTL Group will appoint three members to the board of BroadbandTV.

As for what lies in the new partners’ future, Rafati said: “investments in technology, advertising sales, content, international expansion and talent.”

Founded in 2005, BroadbandTV has become established as a top YouTube video network. The company says it now works with roughly 7,800 channel partners, through its network brands VISO and TGN, including Discovery Communications and many lesser-known publishers.

YouTube video network like BroadbandTV have become hot targets for investment and acquisition. Just weeks ago, WPP, Comcast and the Chernin Group invested a reported $30 million in Fullscreen, which helps video producers manage their YouTube presence. According to WPP, Fullscreen’s global network now generates over 2.5 billion monthly video views and reaches over 150 million subscribers.

Year-over-year, BroadbandTV has seen its network’s video views grow by 169% to 2.1 billion views in the first quarter of the year.

Going forward, RTL Group’s operations and BroadbandTV will explore joint business deals in areas such as development of original content and advertising sales.
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