You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

RTL Seeking ‘Strategic Alternatives’ for BroadbandTV, Including Potential IPO

RTL Group announced that it has decided to explore strategy alternatives for BroadbandTV, the internet-video company in which it holds a majority stake.

The European entertainment conglomerate invested $36 million in BroadbandTV in 2013, giving it a controlling 51% stake in the Vancouver-based multiplatform network firm. RTL, whose holdings include FremantleMedia, said Tuesday it has decided to not exercise its option to acquire the remaining 49% of BroadbandTV in order to pursue “all strategic alternatives for the company.”

The parties have enlisted investment bank LionTree to lead the process. Possible scenarios for BroadbandTV include a sale of the company, additional outside investors, or an initial public offering.

Shahrzad Rafati (pictured above), founder and CEO of BroadbandTV, said the decision to explore strategic alternatives was an “amicable” one between RTL and the company’s other shareholders. Rafati is the largest shareholder in BBTV after RTL (she declined to disclose the size of her ownership stake) along with other individual investors.

“All parties we have a shared perspective that BBTV is a valuable asset,” Rafati said in an interview. “This is very exciting for us, because it allows us to consider all strategic alternatives as it relates to determining the best outcome for shareholders, employees, customers and the entire ecosystem.”

BroadbandTV is one of the biggest video distributors on the internet, generating north of 22 billion monthly video impressions across its owned-and-operated library and brands as well as across its network of 85,000 content creators. BBTV’s array of services include advertising sales, subscriptions, apps, merchandise and content licensing.

Throughout the review process, business will continue as usual, Rafati said. BroadbandTV has not integrated any of its operations with RTL, and as a standalone entity “it puts us in a different category,” she said. BBTV has received inbound M&A inquiries from various companies, Rafati said, but declined to identify them.

As for BBTV’s valuation, Rafati said LionTree will be evaluating that as part of its strategic review.

BroadbandTV’s key brands include gaming network TGN, Opposition (hip-hop music), WIMSIC (electronic dance music), HooplaKidz (kids and family) and Outspeak (its citizen-journalism brand in partnership with AOL’s Huffington Post). BBTV last year announced NBA Playmakers, a fan-focused basketball video network in partnership with the NBA, and recently inked a pact with Univision Communications to manage YouTube channels as well as plans to launch in eight countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

RTL, which is itself majority-owned by Germany’s Bertelsmann, has interests in 60 TV channels and 31 radio stations, along with FremantleMedia’s content production operations and digital-video businesses including fashion and lifestyle network StyleHaul.

More Digital

  • Nancy Pelosi

    Facebook on Defensive Over Fake Pelosi Video

    Facebook faced growing criticism this week over its decision not to remove a video that was doctored to suggest that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was intoxicated during a recent public event. The video, which has been viewed more than 2.5 million times, had been slowed down notably, giving the impression that Pelosi was slurring her [...]

  • Little-Black-Mirror-Maia-Mitchell

    Netflix Launching 'Little Black Mirror' Video Series Starring Maia Mitchell, Lele Pons, Rudy Mancuso, Juanpa Zurita and More

    To promote next month’s premiere of “Black Mirror” season 5, Netflix is launching a short video series — “Little Black Mirror,” with a cast that includes an ensemble of Latinx social-media stars. The three “mini-stories,” aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences, are inspired by the tech-dystopian universe of Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ anthology series. “Little Black [...]

  • Twitter

    Twitter Permanently Bans Anti-Trump Krassenstein Brothers, Who Deny They Broke Platform's Rules

    Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of Ed and Brian Krassenstein — progressive political activists famous for trolling Donald Trump and his supporters — with the company alleging the brothers used bogus accounts to amplify their reach on the platform. “The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake [...]

  • Snapchat

    Snap in Talks to License Music to Let Snapchat Users Embed Songs in Posts

    Snap wants to up Snapchat’s music game. The company has been in negotiations with music companies including the big three — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — to license song catalogs for the Snapchat app, according to two industry sources familiar with the talks, confirming a Wall Street Journal report. [...]

  • T-mobile - Netflix - John Legere

    T-Mobile Passes Netflix Price Hike Through to Subscribers

    T-Mobile is getting ready to raise prices for subscribers who have taken advantage of its “Netflix On Us” promotion: The mobile carrier will begin charging existing customers who have participated in the promotion an additional $2 per month to account for Netflix’s recent price increase. Consumers will see their bill go up starting on 6/2. [...]

  • Oona King

    Snap Hires Google Exec Oona King as First VP of Diversity and Inclusion

    Snap continues to fill out the ranks of its revamped leadership team: The Snapchat parent tapped Oona King, most recently Google’s director of diversity strategy and a former member of British Parliament with the Labour Party, as its first VP of diversity and inclusion. King, who starts at Snap on June 11, is also the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content