AT&T-backed Ellation to launch multichannel video platform

The OTT video company Ellation announced a new multichannel video platform in a move that could pave the way for AT&T (NYSE: T) to expand its media offerings.

Ellation's major funding comes from Otter Media, the $500 million joint venture of AT&T and The Chernin Group. Its new subscription service, VRV, will launch later this year and target millennials with content not typically found through traditional TV programming.

The service, which was announced this week at E3 in Los Angeles, will be available both in bundles and in an a la carte model. Each channel will offer some ad-supported video, Variety reported, and will be offered on mobile devices and connected TV platforms such as gaming consoles.

"VRV will be a home where you can discover new channels to love, interact with fellow fans, and engage with creators on a deeper level, especially as we begin to roll out new features for our community," said Ellation CEO Tom Pickett in a media release. "Premium channels like Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and the comedy streaming channel Seeso are working hard to bring new and improved programming to their communities. While each of the audiences are unique, they have a significant amount of overlapping interests."

AT&T is pursuing cross-platform video aggressively following last year's $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, and the carrier is preparing to launch a three-tiered offering later this year with a particular focus on mobile. The nation's second-largest mobile network operator recently announced a year-long project with 10 digital content providers to develop a new series as well as live concert broadcasts, podcasts and other offerings. AT&T may not be playing a very active role in Otter Media thus far, but it wouldn't be surprising to see VRV's content eventually make its way into the carrier's video portfolio.

For more:
- see this FierceOnlineVideo article
- read this Variety report

Related articles:
AT&T teams with Fullscreen on year-long project to develop mobile video
AT&T, Chernin name $500M joint venture 'Otter Media,' make first purchase
AT&T announces three DirecTV-branded video services for all devices, will launch in Q4

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