SoftBank To Buy DramaFever - Multichannel

SoftBank To Buy DramaFever

OTT Service Syndicates Fare To Hulu, Netflix, iTunes & Amazon
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SoftBank Internet and Media Inc. (SIMI), a company with ties to U.S. mobile carrier Sprint, has agreed to buy DramaFever, an online video service that features “premium international shows and movies” from more than 70 broadcasters and studios in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Re/code reported last week that DramaFever has been in talks with multiple interested parties, including Barry Diller’s IAC and AMC Networks, but noted that there were concerns that some of DramaFever’s revenues were dependent on a sub-licensing agreement with Hulu.

Founded in 2009, DramaFever offers a mix of ad-supported fare as well as a subscription offering that runs $9.99 per month. Supporting access on Web browsers, iOS and Android devices, and the Roku and Goolgle TV platforms (Google's nearing the debut of a new platform, Android TV), DramaFever touts a library of about 700 titles and 15,000 episodes and claims to have a base of 20 million unique monthly viewers.

DramaFever has raised $12 million and counts investors such as AMC Networks, Bertelsmann, MK Capital, SoftBank Ventures, and NALA Investments.

In addition to Hulu, DramaFever also syndicates a portion of its library to Netflix, Amazon and Apple iTunes.

SIMI is linked to Japanese wireless company SoftBank, which now has a majority stake in Sprint. Earlier this month, SoftBank announced it would invest $250 million in Legendary Entertainment and form a joint venture with the movie studio. SoftBank is also rumored to have made a $3.4 billion offer to buy DreamWorks Animation.

Morrison & Foerster LLP acted as legal advisor to theSoftBank Group. The Raine Group LLC acted as financial advisor and Gunderson Dettmer acted as legal advisor to DramaFever.

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