A&E Networks invests in TVPlayer to accelerate  growth of OTT TV platform

03 October 2016

YOLO Leisure and Technology plc, the AIM-quoted company focusing on opportunities in the technology and leisure sectors, announces that investee Company, TVPlayer Limited ("TVPlayer"), the UK's leading online livestreaming TV platform has completed a £5m investment round led by A&E Networks ('A&E'), the US-based international TV content and channels network. Existing investors, including venture capital firm Beringea, invested alongside A&E.

While YOLO did not participate in the investment round it now has a 4.66% direct holding in TVPlayer, which demerged from parent company Simplestream as part of the transaction. Following the demerger, YOLO maintains a 6.21% stake inSimplestream, which continues to sell specialist online streaming software to broadcasters and is a profitable organisation.


The £5m investment will be used to further develop TVPlayer's content offering and to expand distribution of the service in the UK. A sizeable marketing campaign, including TV spots on a number of free-to-air channels, will launch in the lead up to Christmas.

The funding will also enable TVPlayer to expand its marketing and technology team. Founder Adam Smith, and Co-Founders Lewis Arthur and Dan Finch, continue to hold a significant stake in the business and are in the process of further strengthening the management team with a number of senior hires.

Mobile TV remains a high growth sector in the UK following wide adoption of super-fast 4G data plans and the increasing availability of high speed WiFi hotspots across the country. TVPlayer has acquired 4G streaming rights for all of its channels and is the first service in the UK to have done so.

Samsung partnership

TVPlayer announces that its multiscreen service will be among the first streaming video platforms to be pre-installed on all new Samsung tablets. The complete rollout will be available on 24 variants of six tablet versions to over 700,000 devices in the UK over the next 12 months: Galaxy View, Galaxy Tab S2 Galaxy Tab Active, Galaxy Tab A, Galaxy Tab E and Galaxy Tab S. Two variants of both the Galaxy Tab S2 and the Galaxy Tab A 2016 are the first to be currently deployed with the TVPlayer pre-installed app.

Adam Smith, Founder of TVPlayer, said:

"We are very excited about A&E's investment and the backing it provides operationally and financially for the expansion of TVPlayer. TVPlayer has already succeeded in building a first-class content delivery platform and being the first provider in the UK to launch a legal live TV streaming service carrying all of the major channels. With A+E's support, we look forward to focusing on our efforts on customer acquisition and subscriber growth."

Simon Robinson, CEO of YOLO Leisure & Technology plc, commented:

"A+E investing into TVPlayer is an enormous vote of confidence in the team and potential of the live TV business.  It opens a significant growth opportunity by having a global media giant as an investor and partner.  We are delighted at the value this exciting investment creates and the substantial premium on the early stage backing that YOLO made."

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.


For further information please contact:

YOLO Leisure and Technology plc www.yoloplc.com
Simon Robinson [email protected]
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP  
Sandy Jamieson / Emma Earl Tel: +44 20 7148 7900
Peterhouse Corporate Finance Limited Sole broker  
Eran Zucker / Lucy Williams Tel: + 44 20 7469 0930
Walbrook PR Ltd Tel: +44 20 7933 8787 or  [email protected]
Paul McManus/Sam Allen Mob: +44 7980 541 893/+44 7884 664 686


Notes to editors

YOLO Leisure and Technology plc

YOLO Leisure and Technology plc aims to focus on opportunities in the travel, technology and leisure sectors. The Company's Investing Policy is that the Company will invest in businesses which have some or all of the following characteristics.

  • strong management with a proven track record;
  • ready for investment without the need for material re-structuring by the Company;
  • generating positive cash flows or imminently likely to do so;
  • via an injection of new finances or specialist management, the Company can enhance the prospects and therefore the future value of the investment;
  • able to benefit from the Directors existing network of contacts; and
  • the potential to deliver significant returns for the Company.

About TV Player Limited

TVPlayer is an online freemium over the top (OTT) television platform.  It streams live TV across multiple devices from the UK's most popular free-to-air and pay broadcasters. TVPlayer is one of the fastest growing platforms in the UK with over 3m downloads, offering over 100 channels to over 1m unique users per month.

TVPlayer Plus is an award winning, low cost pay TV service offering top channels from Discovery Networks, UKTV, A+E Networks UK, Viacom, Turner Broadcasting, National Geographic Channel Europe & Sony Pictures Television Networks for only £4.99 per month, without a contract.  TVPlayer is available across mobile, tablet and connected TV.

TVPlayer Limited - is a freemium over the top (OTT) television service targeted at non-payTV households in the UK. The TVPlayer app, which is available across mobile, tablet and connected TV, offers over 30 premium channels from UKTV, Fox, A+E, Discovery, Eurosport, Sony, Viacom and Turner for just £4.99 per month without a contract.

TVPlayer is backed by a group of investors including A&E networks, YOLO Leisure & Technology plc an AIM listed investment company focussing on digital media and tech investments and Beringea, a venture and growth capital investor in high growth businesses, with £450m ($600m) under management.

About Simplestream Limited 

Simplestream is a leading B2B provider of live streaming and live-to-Video on Demand ("VoD") services was founded in 2010 and has grown to become a leading provider of multi-platform live streaming and CatchupTV services for the broadcast and media industry. The company is profitable and employs 30+ staff in central London. Its clients include A+E Networks, SONY, Universal Music, News Corp, Box Television, QVC, MP & Silva and At The Races amongst others.

About A&E Networks:

A&E Networks (stylized as A+E NETWORKS) is an American media company that owns a group of television channels available via cable & satellite in the U.S. and abroad. A&E stands for Arts & Entertainment. The company is a joint venture between Hearst and Disney-ABC Television Group, a unit of the Disney Media Networks subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.  A&E Networks reach 330 million people worldwide, can be found in eight out of 10 American homes and have 500 million digital users. The International division oversees 50 channels around the world, reaching more than 300 million subscribers in over 150 countries in 37 languages. A&E is home to original programming such as "Roots" and "The Sopranos", and films such as "Flight 93". "Gettysburg" won four Emmys.