Sky has joined the growing roster of broadcasters backing Multi Channel Networks (MCNs) by investing $0.3 million, via convertible debt security, in LA-based TV4 Entertainment which owns a growing portfolio of special-interest television channels aimed at audiences which are typically underserved by traditional TV companies. The channels are distributed across multiple online platforms in the US including Hulu, Amazon, Sony, Vimeo, YouTube and Roku.
TV4’s portfolio includes a dozen channels, reaching millions of unique users every month. It has more than 30 new channels in development. The current portfolio includes: DocComTV aimed at documentary devotees; All Warrior Network for fans of the warrior genre; Motorland, a video network for automotive enthusiasts; the Ultimate Champion Network which has programming for combat sports fans; and The Clarity Project, a channel exploring child illness.
TV4’s strategy has been to acquire and aggregate high-quality video content into recognisable channel brands. Through more than 200 content partners, TV4 has licensed over 5,000 feature length and short form titles as well as many TV and web series.
The investment in TV4 builds on Sky’s ongoing programme of investing in innovative start-ups that help Sky bring new ideas, insight and services into its business. This follows recent investments in leading online sports network Whistle Sports, Pluto TV, the online video aggregator and the US ad tech firm Sharethrough. Sky has previously invested in a number of other pioneering US technology companies, including the IP streaming service provider Roku, the immersive 360 video specialists Jaunt and the OTT video delivery firm 1 Mainstream.
According to Emma Lloyd, Director, Corporate Business Development, Sky, the investment will help the broadcaster develop its understanding of niche content genres and what audiences are most passionate about. “We are committed to developing partnerships right across our business that support and extend our leadership position in content and innovation. We look forward to working with the team at TV4 Entertainment as they continue to grow.”
Jon Cody, Founder and CEO, TV4 Entertainment, commented: “Our goal in this round of investment was to bring on strategic global investors that could unlock business opportunities as we expand internationally over the next year. Bringing Europe’s top entertainment company in Sky into the TV4 Entertainment family is the perfect fit for this mandate. We look forward to growing the value of the Company for our shareholders while bringing tomorrow’s television to viewers across the globe today.”