Jeffrey Katzenberg's NewTV Secures $800 Million
The startup will look to develop premium short-form programming.
Jeffrey Katzenberg's NewTV startup has raised around $800 million in financing from backers that include 21st Century Fox and Warner Bros., sources familiar with the deals have confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Around $200 million of the money raised comes from media conglomerates and the rest was raised through institutional investors, per Bloomberg, which first reported about the fundraising.
Katzenberg has been working on NewTV since selling DreamWorks Animation to Comcast's NBCUniversal in 2016. The plan is to produce short-form videos at the same budgets as premium television series, or around $100,000 per minute. Katzenberg has been vocal about his plans to raise around $2 billion for the venture, but that process has been slowgoing which has been slow to get off the ground. Earlier this year, Katzenberg, who serves as chairman of NewTV, hired former Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman to help him with the endeavor. She started as CEO of NewTV on May 1.
NewTV is part of Katzenberg's post-DWA plans to push further into the digital industry. In January 2017, he raised around $600 for WndrCo, a holding company that has been investing in digital media startups and also plans to incubate and build other businesses.
Outside of pitching his goal to create premium shortform programming, Katzenberg has spoken very little about how his plans for NewTV will take shape. Though he has talked of creating a next-generation HBO or Netflix for mobile phones, it's not an easy task. Subscription services Fullscreen and Seeso have both shut down over the last year, and ad-supported efforts by Verizon (with go90) and Comcast (with Watchable) have stalled. There is, however, a growing appetite for shorform video from the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon as they seek to engage audiences in between tentpole releases like Stranger Things and The Handmaid's Tale.
A spokeswoman for NewTV declined to comment.