German broadcast group ProSiebenSat.1 has founded a digital media alliance with its European counterparts TF1 Group (France) and Mediaset (Italy).
With the strategic partnership in the field of multi-channel networks (MCN), ProSiebenSat.1 wants to further internationalise its online video business.
As part of the move, TF1 and Mediaset invest in ProSiebenSat.1’s MCN Studio71 through a capital increase by acquiring 6.1% (TF1) and 5.5% (Mediaset) of the shares, representing a combined investment of €53 million at a company valuation of around €400 million. ProSiebenSat.1 retains around 70% of the shares in Studio71.
In return, ProSiebenSat.1 has agreed to acquire a minority interest in Finder Studios, a French MCN co-founded by TF1. The investment in Finder Studios is subject to approval by the German Federal Cartel Office and the Austrian Federal Competition Authority.
Furthermore, ProSiebenSat.1 and Mediaset have agreed to found a joint venture to roll out the Studio71 business model in the Italian market. The new investors will also support Studio71 in tapping into additional markets alongside Germany, USA, Canada, the UK and Austria, and in continuing its growth course.
“The partnership with TF1 Group and Mediaset gives us access to key European markets where the online video market is just now really picking up momentum and promising significant potential,” said Christof Wahl, executive board member for digital activities and COO of ProSiebenSat.1. “With the united marketing power of our media companies, we have an attractive ecosystem with which we can generate additional income and continue Studio71’s digital success story.”
Studio71, founded in 2013, focuses on the marketing, monetisation, distribution and production of web video content. It reaches around 500 million video views a month in the German-speaking countries. By acquiring a stake in US network Collective Digital Studio, which now also trades under the name Studio71, the MCN reaches around 6 billion video views per month.
Studio71 is represented in five countries with a total of eight branch offices and around 200 employees. As a result of the alliance with TF1 and Mediaset, Studio71 will add offices and teams in Paris and Milan soon.
TF1 Group and Mediaset are members of the European Media Alliance, a media network of major European broadcasters, initiated by ProSiebenSat.1 in 2014 to create synergies and investment opportunities.