Sinclair's Circa taps Ownzones for European OTT expansion

Circa, a video-based news and entertainment platform for millennial consumers, is backed by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Image: Circa

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Circa, a video-based news and entertainment platform for millennial consumers, is teaming with Ownzones to expand programming internationally.

The partnership will create a series of subscription and ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) channels, with the first channels expected to be available in Europe in spring 2017. The companies are saying the partnership may increase Circa’s reach to potentially tens of millions of homes in Europe and the United States by the end of the year.

"We are thrilled to be partnered with the innovative team at Ownzones Media Network to build a global OTT footprint for our content," said John Solomon, Circa's chief operating officer, in a statement. "The company's seamless technology and impressive list of distribution partners were a perfect fit for Circa in gaining massive reach while ensuring pristine video quality for our viewing audience."

"The global demand for premium, original OTT content continues to grow, particularly among the millennial audience," said OMN founder and CEO Dan Goman in the statement. "We are pleased to have been selected by Circa to power its OTT distribution strategy, enabling the company to immediately reach an audience of hundreds of millions of consumers, through a variety of OTT devices, across more than a dozen of the top OTT platforms.”

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Circa’s international aspirations come shortly after the platform announced the addition of Circa Campus, which is focused on college and university news.

The UGC portal will allow students covering news on their college campuses to upload videos, according to a news release. Circa is partnering with student groups like GenFKD, or Generation Financial Knowledge Development, a higher education reform organization, to train and recruit citizen journalists on capturing the most responsible and compelling video news content.

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"We're excited to continue amplifying student voices from across the country,” said Justin Dent, co-founder and executive director of GenFKD, in a statement.

The expansion of Circa comes about one year after Sinclair announced it was relaunching the platform and bringing on Solomon. The company bought Circa in 2015 for $800,000.