Warner Bros. Discovery has acquired BluTV, a subscription video-on-demand service in Turkey, the company said on Friday, announced Hollywood Reporter, heralding the closing of a deal that Turkish media has been predicting for some time. While financial terms are not disclosed, the deal brings in some FDI, highlighting the importance of Turkey’s entertainment and gaming industry in terms of cross-border M&A’s and export potential.
The Hollywood Reporter article states that
“The announcement follows three years of extensive partnership, which started in 2021 with the launch of Discovery+ on BluTV and an investment by Discovery Inc. that made the company a 35 percent shareholder of BluTV,” WBD said. “One of the components of the partnership was the option to invest further in BluTV, which has now resulted in the acquisition of the rapidly growing SVOD service.”
BluTV launched in Turkey in 2016 and then in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region in 2018. It is also available globally to Turkish- and Arabic-speaking audiences.
The streamer offers premium BluTV originals, Turkish TV series and movies, as well as Hollywood and international series and films. “BluTV offers more than 10,000 hours of on-demand premium content and live channels to BluTV subscribers,” the company says. Its website lists such Hollywood content as The Last of Us, The Handmaid’s Tale and Friends. BluTV says it has so far featured 26 original productions.
As part of their strategic partnership, Discovery+ was made available on BluTV in 2021, giving subscribers access to such brands as Discovery Channel, TLC, DMAX and ID in a dedicated branded area. In addition, viewers can watch live sports via the firm’s Eurosport 1 and 2. In February, the merged WBD added HBO content and kids channels Cartoon Network and Cartoonito to BluTV, adding such series as Game of Thrones, Sex and the City and Tom & Jerry.
WBD didn’t disclose how many subscribers BluTV has, but said it “has demonstrated a strong growth trajectory thanks to its focus on original content and content library.”
WBD CEO David Zaslav said on the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call that his team was looking to invest in growth initiatives, with the Turkish deal being part of that global growth drive. In recent days, much Wall Street talk has also centered on a possible WBD play for Paramount Global after news that Zaslav has held early exploratory conversations about a potential deal.
“Turkey has been an important investment territory for us for over 20 years, and the acquisition of BluTV brings Turkey’s first local SVOD player into our portfolio,” said Jamie Cooke, GM CEE, Middle East & Turkey of Warner Bros. Discovery. “The combination of compelling Turkish content and a broad range of the best international series and shows from Warner Bros. Discovery is an unbeatable recipe to be locally relevant and successful. Together we bring Turkish audiences the most compelling viewing experience and expand the reach of Turkish content globally.”
Added Deniz Şaşmaz Oflaz, CEO of BluTV: “As Turkey’s leading local subscription video platform, we are proud that our steady growth since day one has made us a part of one of the largest media companies in the world. From now on, we will blend the best local stories we have ever presented to our viewers with the world’s best global content to curate Turkey’s strongest streaming platform and bring our most successful local stories to the world.”
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