The deal includes a first-look pact for TV and digital series, and it may encompass podcasts and live events. Ozy Media runs the annual Ozy Fest lifestyle and culture festival in New York’s Central Park. In November, the company announced it had raised $35 million from investor Marc Lasry to help expand the festival to other cities and to step up the volume of TV and podcast production.
A+E sees Ozy Media as a strong source of material for its flagship cablers A&E, History and Lifetime. Ozy Media already produces nonfiction material for OWN, Amazon, BBC, Hulu and others. A+E Networks Group president Paul Buccieri has sought to expand the volume of the cable group’s original content production through pacts with a range of producers.
“We are committed to being in business with great creatives and storytellers, whose work translates across multiple platforms,” Buccieri said. “Our partnership deal (with Ozy Media) amplifies A+E Networks’ rapidly growing in-house production auspices and will super-serve a growing hunger among consumers for fresh and unique perspectives.”
Watson has been focused on expanding the company’s TV production roster to grow the company beyond its digital roots. A+E Networks has a lot of hungry mouths to feed with its linear cable channels.
“Working with A+E and the company’s wide-ranging portfolio is a perfect fit for the kind of future-forward series we want to produce,” Watson said.