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AT&T buys Peter Chernin company's stake in Otter Media

AT&T buys Peter Chernin company's stake in Otter Media
AT&T on Tuesday finalized its purchase of Otter Media. (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

AT&T has acquired Peter Chernin’s controlling interest in Otter Media, which includes such offerings as the Japanese anime streaming site Crunchyroll as well as the Fullscreen studio and Rooster Teeth entertainment brand, the company said Tuesday.

AT&T did not disclose the amount of its purchase, but some reports suggested the deal implies a value for Santa Monica-based Otter Media of more than $1 billion. The move had been expected since AT&T closed on its $85.4-billion Time Warner Inc. purchase in June.

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AT&T formed the joint venture with Chernin Group in 2014 to create digital brands and take advantage of the burgeoning realm of digital media. Chernin was the longtime president of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. media company but left in 2009 with a lucrative production deal and formed his own independent company. Chernin Group had a 51% stake in Otter Media.

Otter Chief Executive Tony Goncalves will continue in that role, reporting to WarnerMedia Chief Executive John Stankey, the company said in a statement.

“We look to harness Otter’s expertise in feeding the passion of online audiences to augment our portfolio of digital assets and help us further engage, connect and entertain consumers around the globe,” Stankey said in the statement.

Fullscreen began as a network of YouTube creators. Rooster Teeth creates short-form videos with an emphasis on trying to reach video gamers. Otter Media also holds a stake in other brands such as Gunpowder & Sky, the studio created by former MTV chief Van Toffler.

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