Peter Chernin is teaming up with AT&T to invest $500 million in a new “over the top”video service which will compete with traditional pay television services.
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Alternatives to traditional cable companies have been competing with pay television for some time now. These include web sites such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu which all now offer live streaming and even original content.
Peter Chernin, the 62 year old chairman and CEO of Chernin Group which he founded in 2009, is looking to create a new service similar to Netflix after a failed attempt together with AT&T at buying the Hulu television live streaming web site. Chernin is partnering once again with AT&T to create a new virtual pay TV service that would compete with traditional cable or satellite TV.
To that end the two companies have put up $500 million to develop a new over the top service, which is a service that offers video and audio programming through the Internet without the need for either cable or satellite television.
Specific financial details of the arrangement have not been disclosed, nor have the two partners set a launch date or timetable.
The Chernin Group previously purchased Crunchyroll, an anime video on demand service, and as part of the deal it will offer Crunchyroll’s content to the new venture.
That will only be one of many entertainment assets that the Chernin Group has to offer for its part of the deal, which include its own Chernin Entertainment, a production company, which produces televison shows such as Girl and Touch and movies such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Parental Guidance with Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.
For its part AT&T will bring its telecommunications infrastructure and more than 110 million wireless subscribers and more than 10 million broadband internet subscribers to the new venture.
In a statement about the new enterprise, AT&T’s chief strategy officer John Stankey said that, “”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. Combining our expertise in network infrastructure, mobile, broadband and video with The Chernin Group’s management and expertise in content, distribution and monetization models in online video creates the opportunity for us to develop a compelling offering in the OTT space.”
Peter Chernin, said that the deal, “only further underscores our strategic commitment in this area as operators, investors and programmers. AT&T’s massive reach on those platforms across mobile and broadband and their commitment to the online video space make them the perfect fit for this venture with us.”
Cable and satellite subscriptions have been reported as dropping every year due to competition. While this new venture may excite consumers who stand to benefit from lower fees resulting from the competition, it will certainly be a concern to cable giants such as Time Warner which plans to merge with Comcast and Cablevision.
Peter Chernin was born and raised in Harrison, New York. After earning a B.A. in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley, Chernin began his career in the publishing industry, first in the role of associate publicity director for St. Martin’s Press, later going on to take up the role of editor for Warner Books.
After his spell at Warner Books Peter joined Lorimar Film Entertainment, eventually reaching the role of Chief Operating Officer and President.
In 1989 Chernin joined Rupert Murdoch at News Corporation, and by 1996 he was already serving as Chief Operating Officer and President of News Corporation, at that time among the world’s largest media companies.
Peter Chernin’s roles at News Corp, were both diversified and far-reaching reaching, having been handed the responsibility for the company’s diversified global operations that spanned five continents.
During the 20 years that he spent with the News Corporation, Chernin was responsible for the company’s dramatic success in all aspects of the entertainment industry both on the small screen as well as the large screen, with among his most notable achievements being overseeing the production of the two top-grossing movies of all time, Titanic and Avatar for 20th Century Fox.
During Chernin’s time at the top of the News Corporation, their cable network group also experienced dramatic growth experienced explosive growth reaching the subscribers list numbering more than 400 million thanks to their extensive choice of stations including the Fox News Channel, FX, Fox Sports Net, the Fox Movie Channel, National Geographic Television as well as the Fox Reality Channel.