Liberty, Wildcat Invest in Range Media

May 3, 2024 by  Chris Erwin

RockWater Roundup

RockWater analysis to make you a better investor and operator. Today we discuss Liberty Global, Wildcat Capital, and Playground Productions investing into modern mgmt and prod co Range Media, the planned use of funds, and why the investment is a result of consolidation happening in the broader talent rep landscape.



Range Media raised big $$ from blue-chip investors like Liberty Global and Wildcat Capital.

I believe the funds are for an M&A warchest so they don’t fall behind their peers.  

Let’s break it down…



  • Mgmt and prod firm founded in 2020 by Peter Micelli and other top agents who defected from CAA / WME / UTA
  • Goal = extend beyond trad film / TV representation
  • Has expanded into music, sports, gaming, digital, music pub



  • Merged with film / TV prod co Automatik (prod co behind La La Land) in Jan 2023
  • Bought upstart athlete mgmt co Stoked in Sep 2023 (which was also founded in 2020)
  • Existing investors incl Steve Cohen’s Point72 and A+E Networks, which also has a prod deal with Range



  • Last week closed significant minority investment by John Malone’s Liberty Global, TPG founder’s Wildcat Capital, and family entertainment co Playground Productions
  • Former CAA film finance exec Rick Hess, and Forest Road Asset Mgmt were also involved (either as investors or advisors, though I can’t tell exact details from press release)
  • Use of Funds: M&A, scale in US, int’l growth, add more talent rep and prod services
  • Specific terms of round weren’t disclosed e.g. total amount raised, implied valuation…and unfortunately I don’t have time this week to do an estimate of revenue and EV!


🤔What I find interesting…

Not surprised by this investment when you consider all the other fundraising and M&A happening amongst Range’s peers in talent representation.  

The influx of capital and high dealmaking volume is being driven by a belief that outsized returns will go to companies who are fastest to scale, in a winner-take-most market. 

Because scale makes it easier to sign more talent clients, work with the largest brand marketers, hire the best talent agents and managers, package up the largest Hollywood projects, and launch the most exciting new talent-led ventures.

Particularly in a world where scaled access to audience (which talent and influencers bring in a post ATT world) is the top driver in capturing share of high-growth IM spend, which is forecasted to be $7B in 2024, up 15% YoY.

So it’s a race to the top, where scale begets more scale, and more success. And that race to the top is being fueled by massive M&A war chests from large investor backers…

Companies to watch here include

  • Crestview-backed Gersh (just bought A3’s digital team)
  • Coral Tree-backed Loaded (just bought GG Talent)
  • Providence-backed Wasserman (13 deals in 2 years)
  • TCG-backed Night (just bought LFM and Roost Podcast Network)
  • The big 3 (Artemis-backed CAA, EQT-backed UTA, Silver Lake-backed Endeavor)

And after last week, increasingly that also includes Range Media. Curious to see what they buy next. 



There are more M&A and fundraise deals than I have time to write about. That’s a good thing because it signals increasing market activity!

Below are a few other recent capital markets highlights that stand out to me across media, agency, and creator economy – I hope to get some time to write more about them in the coming weeks, but growing client M&A and strategy work is keeping my plate very full!


💸 WMG Sold UPROXX, HipHopDX, and other media assets to UPROXX founder Jarret Meyer, former Complex founder/CEO Rich Antoniello, and artist/entrepreneur – this is a power exec team who knows how to grow and monetize music x culture media brands, AND the newco gets all WMG YouTube inventory in US…a valuable commercial partnership to kickoff with

💸 Alignment Growth invested in Wheelhouse — expect more Wheelhouse-led M&A with this new capital, likely in unscripted content and prod businesses

💸 Milk & Honey Music + Sports + Ventures acquired VMG Sports Representation — another datapoint in consolidation of talent rep co’s

💸 Electrify Video Partners invested in Simple History — bolstering it YouTube-native media brand investment portfolio, and putting its $85M fundraiser from 2023 to work

💸 VidCon is up for sale — I think buyerverse is limited, and the new vidcon is going to (ahem, must) look VERY different



With the recent TikTok ban, many short-form and TikTok rep and social agency firms are scrambling. Some believe there’s a viable path by migrating to IG Reels and YT Shorts, or waiting for a future buyer. Others are more skeptical, thinking that many of these firms were already challenged by small and less consistent ad budgets, high competition, and lack of differentiation vs peers. 

Makes me bet that we’ll likely see a lot of these firms putting themselves up for sale over the next 6 months. The big question will be…how many real buyers will be interested, and how aggressive will they be?

I have some thoughts, but will save that for a future post.


I’m the founder of RockWater Industries. We do financial and strategy advisory for media, agencies, and creator economy. From M&A and fundraising to consumer research and go-to-market planning. 

DM me on LinkedIn or email me chris @ wearerockwater dot com

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