Warner Bros to acquire DramaFever

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Warner Bros has signed a deal to acquire New York-based streaming service DramaFever from Japan’s SoftBank, which bought the company in October 2014.

The company will continue to operate under the DramaFever brand and be managed by its co-founders, Seung Bak and Suk Park, who will report to Warner Bros Television Group, president, business and strategy, Craig Hunegs.

Launched by Bak and Park in 2009, DramaFever has content deals with more than 70 broadcasters and studios throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. Content includes Korean and Japanese dramas and Spanish-language telenovelas.

“This is a great fit for Warner Bros,” said Hunegs, announcing the deal. “With Warner Bros resources, we will rapidly enhance and grow the DramaFever channel.

“As importantly, we are bringing to Warner Bros a great and talented team, led by Seung Bak and Suk Park, that will move quickly with our own distribution and creative teams to create and build more OTT services.”

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016. Prior to the SoftBank acquisition, DramaFever had raised $12m from investors including AMC Networks, Bertelsmann, MK Capital, SoftBank Ventures, NALA Investments and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen.

Time Warner’s VOD operations also include recently-acquired iStreamPlanet, HBO NOW in the US and Hollywood VIP in China, in partnership with Tencent.