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Turner Buys OTT Video Platform

14 Aug, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Turner Broadcasting System has acquired a majority stake in iStreamPlanet, a live-event streaming, TV Everywhere and over-the-top video platform — reportedly for $200 million.

Time Warner-owned Turner, whose properties include CNN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TEN, Adult Swim, truTV and Turner Sports, said it would use iStreamPlanet to deliver future OTT programming, shift its core tech infrastructure to the cloud and develop new products and services for existing and new businesses.

Under the deal, iStreamPlanet will remain a standalone entity and continue to conduct business and broker independent deals with existing and new third-party clients, while also working with Turner to explore new business opportunities.

“We’ve worked with iStreamPlanet in the past during the PGA Championship. This partnership will expand our capabilities to offer live events within and outside of the traditional ecosystem and … allow us to cultivate future business opportunities on digital platforms,” TBS CEO John Martin said in a statement.

Notably, the deal comes after sister company HBO contracted with MLB Advanced Media to launch its standalone OTT video service HBO Now. MLB Advanced Media is a unit of Major League Baseball and the backend to the MLB.tv subscription streaming service.

With Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes seeking improved synergies between Turner, Warner Bros. and HBO, could iStreamPlanet eventually deliver HBO Now?

Indeed, Turner said it believes iStreamPlanet has the potential to advance technological capabilities across all of Time Warner’s properties. That’s because iStreamPlanet’s media clients include NBC Sports, Viacom, AT&T, AMC Networks, Fox, Pac-12, Fox and U.S. Olympic Committee, among others.

“Turner is a media powerhouse … they have been a recognized innovator in the media industry, breaking ground first in cable and then in TV Everywhere,” said Mio Babic, CEO and founder of iStreamPlanet.


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