ITV Invests in Former Maker Studios CEO's New Company, Zealot Networks

Danny Zappin Horizontal - H 2013
Christopher Patey

Danny Zappin Horizontal - H 2013

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the U.K. broadcaster will have a board position at Danny Zappin's startup

U.K. broadcaster ITV has rounded off a year of acquisitions by investing in U.S. digital media startup Zealot Networks.

Founded by Internet entrepreneur Danny Zappin, who set up YouTube multichannel network Maker Studios before being ousted as CEO prior to the company's acquisition by Disney in March, Zealot recently moved into new offices.

While the financial terms of the investment weren't disclosed, ITV announced in a statement that it would have a board position "as the company continues its development."

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"Danny Zappin has been at the forefront of digital media in the U.S. for some time, and it's fantastic to be part of this exciting new venture," said ITV Studios managing director Kevin Lygo. "A key part of ITV's strategy is to exploit the increasing global demand for quality content across a range of platforms, which closely aligns with Zealot's own ambitions to not only distribute content across its own sites, but also to third-party platforms, such as YouTube, Vine and Instagram."

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Zappin added: "A global media company like ITV investing in Zealot demonstrates a shared vision of our mission to transform digital media."

The move is the third investment in the U.S. by ITV this year and follows acquisitions of minority stakes in digital scripted series producer Indigenous Media and Believe Entertainment, which creates digital entertainment with advertisers.