Chernin takes stake in UK digital network

Firm grabs 30% of Base79 for $10 million

The Chernin Group has acquired a stake in Base79, a leading online video network specializing in building robust channels on YouTube for premium content partners out of the United Kingdom.

Chernin has invested $10 million for about 30% of Base79, which has over 500 YouTube channels including BBC Worldwide, Endemol’s Tiger Aspect, IMG Media and Simon Cowell’s SyCo.

“For tens of millions of people, generally under the age of 30, these YouTube networks are their BBCs, their RTLs and their Canal+’s,” said Jesse Jacobs, president of Chernin Group. “While it’s not ingrained into how most people think about channels and networks, the audience is there today and growing fast.”

The funding is aimed at fueling growth plans at Base79, which is already has the biggest collection of YouTube networks outside the U.S. Last month, the company secured four new channel partnerships as a part of YouTube’s new original channels initiative, making it Europe’s largest YouTube original programming partner.

Base79 isn’t Chernin’s first investment in the YouTube network category; he also invested last year in one of the leading YouTube networks in the U.S., FullScreen.

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