Sony Pictures Television is looking for a strategic partner to grow its streaming video service Crackle. The Culver City-based studio has hired investment bank Moelis & Co. to explore potential deals to sell a stake in Crackle. Moelis has begun reaching out to companies, including other streaming services and entertainment firms. Sony is in the early stages of searching for an investor but hopes to complete the process in the next couple of months. Crackle, which is available for free and makes money from advertising, has been part of Sony since 2006, and is considered an important part of the studio’s digital video strategy. The studio last month merged its television networks, home entertainment, and distribution businesses under one executive, a restructuring that resulted in layoffs. It also created a new direct-to-consumer unit to house Crackle and other streaming holdings, including animation outlets Animax and Funimation. The digital division is run by Sony executive Eric Berger.
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