Time Warner Inc. explored the possibility of buying YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen, but determined that the deal did not make sense given the high price tag the MCN was seeking, according to a source familiar with the talks.
The media conglom more than a month ago held talks with Fullscreen, the source said, after Disney announced its deal to acquire Maker Studios in a deal worth as much as $950 million. But Time Warner concluded an acquisition of Fullscreen would not pay back financially, the source said, who did not know how much Fullscreen was asking.
Reps for Time Warner and Fullscreen declined to comment. Time Warner’s discussions with Fullscreen were previously reported by Bloomberg.
Others reportedly interested in buying Fullscreen include Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media — which made an unsuccessful bid to wrest Maker from Disney last month — as well as AOL and Yahoo. Fullscreen’s investors include Peter Chernin’s Chernin Group, Comcast Ventures and global ad agency WPP.
Time Warner has delved into the MCN world already, but through investments rather than acquisitions. The company led $36 million in funding in Maker Studios in 2012, and Time Warner’s Warner Bros. led an $18 million round in guy-focused MCN Machinima in March.
Culver City, Calif.-based Fullscreen was founded in January 2011 by CEO George Strompolos, a co-creator of the YouTube Partner Program. The company says its 15,000-plus YouTube channels generate more than 3 billion monthly video views and reaches more than 300 million subscribers.
The MCN works with YouTube creators including The Fine Bros., whose TV series “ReactToThat” was just greenlit by Nickelodeon, filmmaker Devin Super Tramp, supergroup Our2ndLife (O2L) and musician Lindsey Stirling. Fullscreen also recently announced a deal with YouTube star Grace Helbig.