NBCUniversal Acquires Majority Stake in Craftsy Digital Network – Variety

NBCUniversal is set to acquire a majority stake in Craftsy, the digital channel that serves up how-to videos on a range of cooking, decorating and lifestyle subjects.

The acquisition will be managed through the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group. NBCU envisions the Craftsy operation as contributing experts and short-form content for everything from Bravo’s “Top Chef” to its soon-to-be-rebranded kids channel Sprout.

Craftsy has two busy production facilities in Denver and Indianapolis that turn out a steady stream of videos with a staff of 190. The company was founded in 2010 by tech entrepreneurs John Levisay, who serves as CEO, Josh Scott, Todd Tobin and Bret Hanna. NBCU bought the company from a clutch of private equity firms.

Levisay will report to Dave Howe, NBCU Cable’s president of strategy and commercial growth, who spearheaded the acquisition.

NBCU Cable Entertainment president Bonnie Hammer noted in a memo announcing the acquisition that the craft retail market is valued in the $30 billion-$40 billion.

“At its heart, Craftsy is a digital network with its own production studios, which we view as an extension of our own studios,” Hammer wrote. “Just as Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios develop and produce content for our networks and other outlets, Craftsy’s lifestyle learning studios supply content for its own branded online network. And we believe that the interests and passions of our shared audiences naturally align.”

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