AT&T, Chernin Group form online video partnership

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AT&T Inc. wants to get deeper into the online video business.

AT&T and media holding company The Chernin Group announced a partnership Tuesday to buy, invest in and launch online video services. The companies committed at least $500 million to the venture.

“AT&T and The Chernin Group are combining our skill sets to address the growing consumer demand for accessing content how and when they want it,” said John Stankey, AT&T chief strategy officer.

The partnership is especially interested in so-called over-the-top (OTT) content, typically content bought from a third party but delivered via the Internet. NowTV, Netflix and Hulu are examples of OTT services.

Word of the online video partnership comes a day after AT&T announced a major expansion of its super-fast Internet service. Chicago and eight suburbs are among about 100 communities nationwide where AT&T wants to install its 1 gigabit per second service, which is about 100 times faster than typical consumer broadband.

AT&T and Chernin Group Commit $500 Million to Take on Netflix (Mashable)

AT&T wants to get into the online video business (CNET)

AT&T eyes Chicago, suburbs for super-fast Internet

AT&T rival Verizon Communications Inc. is planning similar services. The telecommunications giant bought Intel Media earlier this year. The onetime division of chip maker Intel Corp. had been preparing to launch a service that streams TV channels over the Internet.

Dish Network Corp., meanwhile, struck a deal with Disney last month that paves the way for the satellite TV service to live-stream Disney-owned channels like ESPN and ABC over the Internet to customers’ smartphones, tablets, video game consoles and other devices.

None of companies have announced start dates for the planned online video services.

The Chernin Group, run by former News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, is contributing its assets to the venture, including its majority stake in Crunchyroll, a subscription-based provider of anime videos.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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