RTL Group Buys Controlling Stake in Canadian YouTube Aggregator

The deal sees the European commercial broadcaster buy an initial 51 percent stake in BroadbandTV as part of an evolving strategic partnership.

AMSTERDAM -- European commercial broadcaster RTL Group has acquired a controlling stake in Canadian online video company BroadbandTV as part of an evolving strategic partnership.

RTL Group has invested $36 million for an initial 51 percent stake in the YouTube video aggregator.

The Canadian company, led by founder and CEO Shahrzad Rafati, will help accelerate the German-based broadcaster’s global digital strategy.

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Vancouver-based BroadbandTV’s technology detects videos uploaded by fans on YouTube and allows content creators and distributors to monetize the content.

“As the leading European entertainment network, RTL Group is committed to becoming a major player in all segments of the rapidly growing online video market, and is ideally positioned to do so,” Guillaume de Posch, co-CEO of RTL Group, said in a statement.

RTL Group’s global content arm, FremantleMedia, is a major provider of TV content to YouTube.

As part of their agreement, RTL Group will name three executives to the BroadbandTV boardroom, as both partners explore joint business opportunities to strengthen the European broadcaster’s position in the online video market.