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

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • View of the Public Library on

    New York City Public Libraries Drop Kanopy Free Movie-Streaming Service

    Kanopy suffered a blow with the decision by New York City’s three public library systems — collectively the biggest library system in the U.S., with some 210 branches across the Big Apple — to drop the free movie-streaming service, citing high costs. As of July 1, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn and [...]

  • Cameo

    Celebrity Video Greetings Service Cameo Raises $50 Million

    Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well. Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both [...]

  • Gena Konstantinakos - Topic

    Topic Hires Viceland's Gena Konstantinakos as VP, Development and Video Programming

    Topic, First Look Media’s entertainment studio and digital destination for original content, hired veteran producer Gena Konstantinakos as VP, development and video programming. Konstantinakos hails from Vice Media’s Viceland cable channel, where she was executive producer, development and current series. At Topic, she reports to Ryan Chanatry, general manager of Topic. Konstantinakos is tasked with [...]

  • Martin Kon - YouTube

    YouTube Hires Consultant Martin Kon as VP of Strategy

    Google’s YouTube tapped Martin Kon, who has worked as a tech, media, and telecoms consultant for more than two decades, as VP of strategy. Kon, based at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., reports to chief business officer Robert Kyncl. Kon will work with YouTube senior execs to help formulate the long-term vision of the [...]

  • Sonos One

    Sonos Sues Competitor Bluesound for Patent Infringement

    Smart speaker maker Sonos has sued Lenbrook Industries, the company behind the audio brand Bluesound, for patent infringement. It’s the second such lawsuit from Sonos against a competitor, which has also been using its patents to gain concessions from the makers of voice assistants. In the lawsuit filed late last week in a California court, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content