AT&T Acquiring Quickplay to Support Upcoming Video Services
Strengthening its online video operations, AT&T announced that it will acquire over-the-top (OTT) and TV Everywhere video distribution company Quickplay Media for an undisclosed amount. Madison Dearborn Partners is the current owner, having purchased Quickplay for $100 million in 2012. AT&T expects to close the deal in mid-2016.
AT&T has a history with Quickplay, as it currently uses the company to stream U-verse TV Everywhere. Once the acquisition is completed, AT&T will use Quickplay to stream three new offerings—DirecTV Now (which will offer a range of pay TV packages for streaming delivery), DirecTV Mobile (a smartphone-based premium video offering), and DirecTV Preview (an ad-supported free service with limited offerings)—which will all debut in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“Quickplay's multitenant IP distribution infrastructure, combined with AT&T's leading scale in IP connected end points, will allow us to host and distribute all forms of video traffic," says John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group. "We intend to scale and operate an industry-leading video distribution platform, and viewers will get the high-quality online video viewing experience they desire."
Quickplay currently has over 350 employees, all of whom will stay in place post-acquisition. Stankey notes that Quickplay's "talented team of people" is essential for AT&T's success. As the new owner, AT&T will grow Quickplay's managed platform services. Quickplay will continue to power other video providers and content distributors. The company has offices in North America and Asia.
Hello Lab will allow 10 YouTube stars to create their dream projects, shooting and editing mobile video on mobile phones for a young audience.
In a deal rumored for months, AT&T and The Chernin Group's Otter Media may have spent between $200 and $300 million for the MCN.
While AT&T needs spectrum, the DoJ's antitrust concerns could scuttle its plans.
Companies and Suppliers Mentioned