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Peter Chernin, AT&T to Buy Majority Stake in YouTube Network Fullscreen (THR)
Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group and AT&T have finalized a deal to acquire a majority stake in YouTube network Fullscreen. GigaOM Financial details of the transaction weren’t released, but Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos, who previously handled partner relations for YouTube, will retain “a material ownership stake in the company,” according to the release. Re/code The sale is supposed to wrap up in the next month; ad holding giant WPP, which invested in Fullscreen earlier, will remain as a “strategic shareholder.” The deal is likely to value Fullscreen, which says it has 4 billion monthly video views, between $200 million and $300 million. Earlier in the year, Disney bought YouTube network Maker Studios, which had 5.5 billion views, in a deal that could ultimately hit $950 million. That sale kicked off a new wave of investor interest in Web video networks, which for now generate most of their eyeballs and revenue on YouTube. Capital New York Dreamworks acquired YouTube channel AwesomenessTV in 2011 for $150 million, Discovery acquired Revision3 in 2012 for $30 million, and Legendary Entertainment bought Nerdist for an undisclosed sum in 2012. Variety Fullscreen, founded in January 2011, works with more than 50,000 content creators — including such YouTube stars as the Fine Bros., Connor Franta and O2L — who have an aggregate of 450 million subscribers. The Culver City, Calif.-based company has about 200 employees worldwide.