Quibi, the struggling short-form mobile video startup led by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, may be forced to shut down after failing to find a buyer, according to a new report.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, a restructuring firm hired by Quibi — which raised $1.75 billion in pre-launching funding — provided a list of options to the company’s board of directors this week. One of the proposals: for Quibi to cut its losses and shutter the company.
Quibi is holding a call with its investors later Wednesday to update them on the status of the company, per the Journal story, which cited anonymous sources. Katzenberg, according to a report by the Information Tuesday, has “told people in the industry that he may have to shut down the company.”
Quibi reps did not respond to a request for comment.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Katzenberg was exploring “strategic options” for Quibi including a potential sale. Katzenberg pitched a sale of the company — which has about 500,000 paying customers — to Apple, WarnerMedia and Facebook but was rebuffed, the Information reported earlier this month. Katzenberg also struck out in his attempt to sell Quibi’s programming rights to companies including NBCUniversal and Facebook, per the Information’s story this week. NBCU was “put off by the fact that Quibi doesn’t own many of the shows it puts on its platform,” according to today’s Journal article.
Quibi doesn’t own the big-budget premium content that it has shelled out upwards of $100,000 per minute for. The company has seven-year licenses on its short-form series (and after two years, content owners have the right to assemble the shows and distribute them elsewhere).
More to come.
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