ProSiebenSat.1 takes majority stake in CDS to launch MCN

DetailsEditor | 09 July 2015

Even though some voices warn that online video multichannel networks (MCNs) have reached a peak, ProSiebenSat.1 Group has founded Collective Studio71.

The launch of the new concern reflects the German pay-TV giant's plans to internationalise its online video business. Collective Studio71 will operate globally with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin and London.

The move was made possible by ProSiebenSat.1's acquisition of a majority interest in leading US MCN Collective Digital Studio (CDS) in which it has been a minority holder since last year. CDS focuses on producing online video content for a young target audience and ranges among the top five networks in the US. It claims a successful track record for delivering entertainment content for numerous brands, such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Toyota and Sony PlayStation

ProSiebenSat.1 is investing $82.8 million in the new venture and will hold three-quarters of the equity shares in Collective Studio71. The acquisition will also see Studio71, the German-based MCN built up by ProSiebenSat.1, merged into the new umbrella company. CDS will continue to exist for the American market and Studio71 for the European market.

Collective Studio71 will push to build international talent, produce global Web-only formats, and inorganically expand operations to include additional territories. It will also intensify cooperation with all digital distribution platforms and in the areas of branded entertainment and tool development.

"ProSiebenSat.1 created and built up its own MCN with Studio71, and it has established itself as the largest and most successful network in the German-speaking world," said ProSiebenSat.1 executive board member Christian Wegner. "By founding Collective Studio71 we will now instantly be a global player in this attractive growth market."

Added CDS CEO Michael Green: "Through our existing ProSiebenSat.1 partnership, we have been able to greatly increase monetisation for our creators in Germany. The combination of our two MCNS, backed by a strong financial foundation, will enable us to leverage opportunities throughout Europe, the Americas and other territories to establish the first truly global MCN. There will also be a strong focus on bringing in broadcast partners for all these territories worldwide."