NBCU Buys Majority Stake in Craftsy

NBC Universal has purchased a majority stake in online crafting and cooking video site Craftsy, a deal that will help the programmer tap into the 60-million strong crafting and hobbyist market.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Craftsy is based in Denver and has been offering a steady stream of how-to cooking and crafting videos. Shortly after the deal is completed, Craftsy will become part of NBCU’s Cable Entertainment unit, headed by chairman Bonnie Hammer.

In a memo to employees, Hammer called Craftsy a leader in the lifestyle learning space, adding the company produces high-quality interactive video classes and downloadable workshops led by experts in cooking, cake decorating, knitting, quilting, jewelry-making and photography.  .  

The Craftsy community has about 12 million crafters and hobbyists and more than 2 million active visitors to its site each week. The site also has an integrated e-commerce site that allows customers to purchase classes, materials, tools and kits.

“At its heart, Craftsy is a digital network with its own production studios, which we view as an extension of our own studios,” Hammer said in the memo. “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.”

The deal also allows NBCU to develop Craftsy experts in long and short-form content for linear and digital spaces.

“As Craftsy expands its own entertainment content, it can benefit from access to NBC Universal’s lineup of talent and properties,” Hammer continued.

NBCU Cable Entertainment president, strategy and commercial growth Dave Howe will oversee Craftsy once the deal closes. Craftsy CEO and founder John Levisay will report to Howe and will continue to manage their 190 employees in their home cities of Denver and Indianapolis.