Collective Digital Studio sells stake to ProSiebenSat.1

Will bratwurst and schnitzel be added to the Epic menu? The German broadcaster has purchased a 20% stake in the MCN that represents YouTube shows like Epic Meal Time and The Annoying Orange.
March 27, 2014

Red Arrow Entertainment, the production and distribution arms of Munich media company ProSiebenSat.1, has bought a 20% stake in L.A.-based Collective Digital Studio (CDS).

Aside from gaining a strategic partner that allows them to monetize their content globally, the ProSiebenSat.1 investment also gains CDS access to their Red Arrow Distribution System.

Overseer of one of the leading YouTube multichannel networks that delivers nearly one billion views monthly via 600 channels and best known for producing the hit web series Video Game High School (pictured), CDS also produces The Annoying Orange and Epic Meal Time. The MCN has also delivered branded content initiatives for Fortune 200 brands Verizon, Dodge, Unilever and others.

“With a fierce commitment to the most talented creators on the platform, a top-tier nationwide sales division and global distribution both on and offline, CDS is now poised to become a leading 21st century media company,” said Michael Green, Chairman of CDS in a statement.

This past August, ProSiebenSat.1 formed Studio 71, its own multi-channel network in Germany, and quickly established a monthly video view total of more than 100 million.

With its minority stake in CDS, Red Arrow will now be provided with video content for Studio 71 and marketing will be handled in-house by ProSiebenSat.1’s SevenOne Media.

CDS will also help Red Arrow, which already supervises a group of 15 international production companies in nine countries, as well as builds partnerships with top creative talent and acts as a programming distribution organization, to significantly expand its presence in the digital market. The alignment with CDS will back online talent and develop new content verticals, while Red Arrow also supports the venture’s content and global programming distribution.

The core business of ProSiebensat.1, one of the largest independent media corporations in Europe, is free TV financed by advertising.  The group’s stations – SAT.1, ProSeiben, kabel eins, six, SAT.1 Gold and ProSieben MAXX, reach approximately 42 million TV households in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Established in 2000, ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG employs more than 3,000 staff in 12 countries.

CDS is owned by its founders and GF Capital Private Equity Fund, LP.

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