Is it chicken soup for the AVOD soul that will create a category leader?

, a relatively small entertainment and media company, is hoping to vault into one of the industry’s top ad-supported video-on-demand players through its deal to take control of ’s Crackle — the latest in its roll-up strategy.

As , Pictures Television reached a deal with CSS Entertainment to form a joint venture under which the latter will have majority ownership of Crackle (to be renamed ). CSS Entertainment expects the Crackle deal to close next month, or in May 2019 at the latest.

Investors are bullish on CSS Entertainment’s latest move: On Friday, the company’s stock, which is traded on Nasdaq, by 36.4%, to close at $12.36 per share.

“We now are

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