Sony and Chicken Soup for the Soul launch Crackle Plus

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
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Sony Pictures Television and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Launch Joint Venture “Crackle Plus” and Announce Closing of Related Transactions

  • Crackle Plus Joint Venture Establishes Leading Free Streaming VOD Platform with Nearly 10 Million Monthly Active Users

CULVER CITY, Calif. and COS COB, Conn. — Sony Pictures Television (SPT), one of the television industry’s leading content providers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (CSS Entertainment) (Nasdaq: CSSE), a fast-growing media company building online video-on-demand (VOD) networks that provide content for all screens, today launch their new streaming video joint venture named “Crackle Plus” and announce closing of related transactions.

Crackle Plus is expected to have a combined audience of nearly 10 million monthly active users on its owned and operated networks, as well as millions of additional users from its ad rep business, positioning the new company as one of the largest ad-supported VOD (AVOD) platforms in the U.S. Each company brings its respective audience and its video-on-demand and content expertise to the joint venture.

SPT and CSS Entertainment are each contributing assets to establish Crackle Plus. SPT’s contributions to the joint venture include Crackle’s U.S. and Canadian assets including the Crackle brand in those territories, its monthly active users and its ad rep business. SPT and the joint venture also entered into a license agreement for rights to popular TV series and movies from the Sony Pictures Entertainment library, including Crackle’s original content library. In addition, New Media Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Electronics Inc., has contracted to provide the technology back-end services for the newly formed joint venture. CSS Entertainment contributions to the joint venture will include the rights to six owned and operated AVOD networks (Popcornflix, Truli, Popcornflix Kids, Popcornflix Comedy, Frightpix, and Espanolflix) and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform Pivotshare.

Under the terms of the agreement, announced on March 29, 2019, CSS Entertainment will own the majority interest in the joint venture. Additionally, CSSE will issue to SPT four million five-year warrants to purchase Class A common stock of CSS Entertainment at various prices.

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., a subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. acted as sole advisor to CSS Entertainment in this transaction. Moelis & Company LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to SPT in connection with the transaction.