NBCUniversal is taking a majority stake in Denver-based Craftsy, a digital network that focuses on do-it-yourself projects such as cooking and crafting. The network boasts more than 12 million subscribers.
Craftsy joins other NBC digital investments, including BuzzFeed and Vox Media. It will become part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
“There’s …great on-air potential in Craftsy’s future,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairwoman, NBCUniversal Cable, in a statement. “We have the ability to develop its growing roster of experts, by featuring them in long and short-form entertainment content that can live in linear as well as digital spaces.”
The company — which was founded in 2010 by CEO John Levisay, Josh Scott, Todd Tobin and Brett Hanna — employs 190 people in two Denver and Indianapolis-based facilities. Craftsy offers online video classes in the creative arts. These courses are taught by professional instructors in areas such as crochet, quilting, cooking, wood-working and photography, and online communities have been created around the different subject areas. Participants also can buy class materials in Craftsy’s online store.
Levisay will report to Dave Howe, president of strategy and commercial growth, NBCU Cable. Howe spearheaded the acquisition, reports Variety.
Not much else will change for Craftsy, except opportunities for expanded production and distribution. The company will not relocate and John Levisay will remain as CEO.
Levisay told employees about the deal in a public letter on Wednesday, noting that other bidders had also come to the table but NBCU ultimately prevailed.
“The resources and institutional horsepower contained within the Comcast NBCUniversal family are quite simply ... awesome,” Levisay wrote. “It will provide us tremendous resources and a massive distribution platform to further pursue our vision of becoming an iconic brand in the maker space via ‘edutainment,’ lifestyle learning and supplies.”
[Image courtesy of NBCUniversal via Variety]