The company paid out around €3 million for the minority stake in Chili, which has an enterprise value of about €65 million and is set to post revenues of around €10 million this year.
Sony’s move comes after Viacom (owners of Paramount Pictures) and Warner Bros acquired an 8.67% stake in Chili earlier this year, with options to increase their holding to around 13% by 2019. Tony Miranz, the co-founder of US VOD company Vudu, also owns a minority stake.
Hollywood studios are said to be keen to support the video streaming sector in times of increasing piracy and lower box-office and DVD sales. Milan-based Chili TV is a spin-off of broadband operator Fastweb and has expanded from Italy to other European countries, including the UK, Poland, Germany and Austria since it was founded in 2012 by Stefano Parisi and today led by Giorgio Tacchia.