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Anthem buys AXS TV  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Sep 10th, 2019 01:33 am
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bpickering
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Anthem Media issued the following:
ANTHEM SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT TO PARTNER WITH AXS TV FOUNDER MARK CUBAN; ACQUIRES MAJORITY INTEREST IN AXS TV AND HDNET MOVIES NETWORKS
 
AEG REMAINS ACTIVE PARTNER
STEVE HARVEY GLOBAL JOINS ANTHEM AS INVESTOR AND STRATEGIC PARTNER
Deal Expands Anthem’s Reach to Nearly 150 Million Households, Creating a Major New Force in Entertainment, Music and Sports Programming
 
TORONTO | DALLAS | LOS ANGELES - September 9, 2019 – Anthem Sports & Entertainment, a global multiplatform media company, today announced it  has acquired a majority interest in HDNet LLC, parent of the widely distributed U.S. television networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies,and will assume operating management of the two popular channels that cater to music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle audiences. The deal also includes AXS TV’s extensive library of owned programming, including wrestling, MMA and entertainment content.

The two networks add significantly to Anthem’s rapidly growing portfolio of content, which is currently available in 120 countries and includes diverse and popular sports and entertainment programming targeted to passionate communities with a focus on millennial viewers.

“We are very excited to add these two successful channels to our portfolio,” said Leonard Asper, CEO, Anthem Sports & Entertainment. “Anthem was founded with a mission to deliver compelling, targeted content and experiences to passionate fans globally on the platform of their choice. The music, sports and entertainment communities served by these channels are a natural extension and perfect complement to our existing properties.  The addition of AXS TV and HDNet Movies will allow for increased content ownership, digital expansion and even more compelling programming for consumers and our distribution partners.”

Mark Cuban and AEG will continue to participate as equity partners, and AEG Global Partnerships, AEG’s advertising and sponsorship sales unit, will continue to support the channels in conjunction with Anthem’s sales team.

Joining as an investor is entertainer, producer and businessman Steve Harvey, who will also enter into a strategic agreement for content development and promotion of Anthem’s portfolio of channels. Steve Harvey Global will have a seat on the board of directors of Anthem.

Anthem’s board of directors will also include Ted Goldthorpe, head of BC Partners Credit, a lead financier on the acquisition;  Rick Ehrman, a former senior executive at Univision and NBC Universal; Robert Foster, founder and CEO of Capital Canada; Scott Honour, founding principal of Northern Pacific Group; and Loudon Owen, chairman and CEO of DLT Labs.

“Anthem’s combination of targeted brands, enthusiastic audiences, operational expertise, international footprint and vision makes them an ideal partner to take AXS TV and HDNet Movies to their next levels,” Mark Cuban said.  “Given Anthem’s portfolio of premium content and complementary programming networks, we could not ask for a better home, and we are looking forward to the results we will collectively generate for this new partnership.”  

“My team and I see great opportunity in Anthem,” Steve Harvey said.  “They have incredible shows, experiential entertainment, and a huge reach. We look forward to collaborating with Anthem on content development that will surprise and delight this newly expanded audience.”  

AXS TV and HDNet Movies will continue operating from their existing facilities in Denver and Los Angeles, and the combined company will include Anthem’s playout and production center in Toronto and production facilities in Nashville and Europe.

“Anthem Sports & Entertainment brings a legacy of delivering boundary-breaking programming that perfectly aligns with our programming strategy and global concert venue and music festival assets,” said Charles Hirschhorn, President, AEG TV. “The combination of these television networks with Anthem creates global video destinations for ‘must see’ event programming."

With this transaction, Anthem channels are now estimated to reach nearly 150 million global TV homes, including more than 110 million MVPD-served TV households in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, Anthem’s proprietary content is distributed to more than 160 million global TV homes through licensing agreements with some of the world’s premier networks. Anthem’s networks and content also are available on nearly every major streaming service and digital platforms.

Anthem has offices and studios in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and Nashville, and in Europe. Its portfolio includes:
    IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s largest wrestling entertainment properties, creating more than 300 hours of original content annually across television and other digital platforms. IMPACT Wrestling specializes in premium content, pay-per-view events, products and merchandise, as well as the management, promotion and training of professional wrestlers;
     IMPACT Plusa multi-platform mobile app and digital subscription video-on-demand platform and one of the newest additions to the Anthem family of services, featuring live monthly premium network specials, instant access to the 3,000-plus hour IMPACT Wrestling library, groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, and exclusive events from international partners;
     Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel, dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports including fights, fight news and the fight lifestyle as well as mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, professional wrestling, traditional martial arts and more. Fight Network produces and owns its own library of fight themed documentaries and interview programs and is delivered to more than 43 million TV homes in the U.S., Canada and more than 15 other countries;
     GameTV, featuring game show formats and programming, both current and past; reality, drama and documentary series; feature films; sports-based games including esports, poker, and card-based games; and live sporting events – all delivered to more than 8 million television homes throughout Canada. GameTV also features online cash and social gaming through igamestv.com;
     Game+, a cutting edge, millennial-targeted sports and entertainment channel, featuring sports-wagering programs, esports events, news and information, fantasy sports programming, high stakes poker, and other action-driven shows and lifestyle programming.  Game+ is distributed in more than 1 million MVPD TV homes in Canada and the US; and
     Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S, offering outdoor enthusiasts diverse programming from calm freshwater fishing to fast-paced deer and waterfowl hunting. Pursuit Channel is available to more than 35 million TV homes in the US served by cable, satellite and IPTV. Through its app PursuitUP the channel is also available on OTT streaming services.
AXS TV is a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle channel, including live concerts and sports events, originally founded as HDNET by Mark Cuban in 2001. The channel was rebranded in 2012 after partnering with AEG, leading to additional music content development. The network’s current programming lineup features live concerts and events, music-themed information and reality programming, live wrestling and MMA, and off-network runs of popular music-themed programming. The network is distributed to more than 50 million homes.

AEG includes AXS TV as part of its own sponsorship portfolio, bringing many AEG partners to the network.  

HDNet Movies, available in approximately 12 million U.S. homes, features theatrically released films and documentaries presented in high definition, including a variety of iconic classics and award winners spanning the 1950s to 2000s. 



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 Posted: Tue Sep 10th, 2019 04:10 pm
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srossi

 

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PWInsider:

To say Impact Wrestlng was elated yesterday about the announcement that their parent company, Anthem, had taken over majority ownership of AXS TV would be a supreme understatement.  This had been the moment that Impact had been waiting for, sitting on pins and needles, for months on end.  The deal being consumated means that for the first time in years, Impact will soon have a TV home that a good percentage of the cable and satellite viewing audience has the ability to watch.  It also puts Anthem in business with AEG, which has countless potential venues Impact could run down the line and with Steve Harvey, both of which are phenomenal partners to be in business with.  It also takes the pressure off Impact.  They no longer have to worry about tomorrow or the day after tomorrow and can instead concentrate on putting together the best product they can have today.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 11th, 2019 04:04 pm
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srossi

 

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PWInsider:

One day after Anthem Media took over controlling interest in AXS TV, the cable network's Dallas office was shut down.

Adam Swift, who was hugely responsible for bringing pro wrestling to the network, dating back to Ring of Honor on HDNet, is departing this week:
This is my last week at AXS TV after 11 amazing years. Proud of all that we accomplished, blessed to have worked with so many wonderful people, and excited for the next adventure.
— Adam Swift (@AdamMSwift) September 10, 2019
With the entire Dallas office shut down, a major question to look at is who will be handing production of the weekly New Japan series going forward.  Those who had been overseeing it are no longer with AXS TV.  

We are told the forthcoming WOW tapings in Los Angeles are still on as scheduled.

Last edited on Wed Sep 11th, 2019 04:04 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Wed Sep 11th, 2019 06:48 pm
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srossi

 

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PWInsider:

With Anthem having taken over the majority ownership in AXS TV, we have been besieged with questions about the future of WOW and New Japan Pro Wrestling on the cable network.

It should be noted that sources within Impact Wrestling have noted that no decisions have been made at this time and going forward, everything will continue on as they have been. However, at some point, decisions will have to be made and there has been extreme cost-cutting across the board already at AXS TV's offices across the United States. This is normal when one company absorbs another, as sad as it is, and there are likely more to come after over 40 employees were let go from offices in Los Angeles (the corporate HQ), Dallas (where a lot of day to day work was done) and Denver, which is extremely important to pro wrestling fans as that studio was where the nuts and bolts of the New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV show was put together.

We are told the Denver office was extremely gutted and as of now, there's no real understanding from the New Japan side yet on how things will be proceeding. Currently, New Japan has a deal through January 2020 with AXS TV. The process before the takeover was that New Japan would send over their tapes, which were edited live as NJPW produced their live events. AXS TV would do some minor editing with additional voiceover work by Kevin Kelly to fit the American broadcasts. Currently, there are several weeks of shows in the can from Royal Quest. New episodes from the Destruction Tour would technically be next, but those episodes, according to a source formerly with AXS, have not yet been put together for American consumption.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but It's entirely possible that the NJPW on AXS TV shows, as part of a cost-cutting maneuver, could now be post-produced by Impact's production team or that AXS could go into New Japan repeats as everything is sorted out. We are told that the announcing teams for New Japan on AXS are not signed to AXS, so technically, Anthem could even have their own Impact Wrestling announcers voicing over any new content that is released.

In the case of WOW, they have 13 episodes in the can for the first half of the current season. Those will air as scheduled. WOW is slated to begin taping episodes for the second half of their season with those episodes slated to begin airing in January. So, at the very least, WOW will be on the air as scheduled through the end of the year, and hopefully, longer after that.

Impact Wrestling will migrate over to AXS once that transition from The Pursuit Channel to AXS TV has been formalized.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 12th, 2019 04:34 pm
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bpickering
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IMPACT Wrestling, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and one of the world’s largest professional wrestling organizations, announced today it has entered into an agreement to broadcast its flagship weekly two-hour program IMPACT! nationally across the U.S. on AXS TV, a leading music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle channel in which Anthem Sports & Entertainment recently acquired a majority interest.

Immediately following IMPACT Wrestling’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year Bound For Glory, which takes place on Oct. 20 in the Chicago area, IMPACT! will begin airing weekly on AXS TV. The program will continue to simulcast globally on IMPACT Wrestling’s official Twitch channel.

“IMPACT Wrestling is a perfect fit for AXS TV’s slate of live sporting events and combat sports content,” said Ed Nordholm, Chief Corporate Officer of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and President of IMPACT Wrestling. “The newest addition to our growing portfolio of media assets, AXS TV’s audience perfectly aligns with our passionate IMPACT Wrestling fan base, and this move increases the reach for our weekly program with distribution in over 50 million homes. We could not ask for a better home and are excited by the opportunities to work with Mark Cuban and Anschutz Entertainment Group, our partners in AXS TV, to bolster IMPACT Wrestling’s presence in the market, as we continue to deliver action-packed and innovative weekly programming featuring some of the most athletic and gifted stars in the professional wrestling industry.”

Showcasing top professional wrestling stars such as IMPACT World Champion Brian Cage, plus Rob Van Dam, Rhino, Moose, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, Rich Swann, Michael Elgin, the high-flying X-Division and the Knockouts, including Gail Kim, Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, Tenille Dashwood, Rosemary, Madison Rayne and Su Yung, IMPACT! has been a leading destination for professional wrestling fans, televised globally in 120 countries since its inception in 2002, while growing its popularity and reach on YouTube, Twitch, Pluto and social media platforms.



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"22 years of my fucking life just got fucking ruined!!!!"---Fan outside Wrestlemania XXX

PRO WRESTLING HALL OF FAME: http://www.angelfire.com/pa5/old (updated September 2 2018)

RIP UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1776-2016
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 Posted: Thu Sep 12th, 2019 04:34 pm
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Impact has announced that they will be on AXS for a 2 hour weekly show the week after Bound For Glory, which is October 20. They didn't say which day though.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 12th, 2019 06:24 pm
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bpickering
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In responding to a PWInsider.com inquiry about the future of New Japan and WOW on AXS TV, Ed Nordholm sent the following statement:

“Anthem has been public that it has not made any decisions regarding current programming. We have been long-time broadcast partners with TV Asahi for NJPW at Fight Network and hope to build on that relationship. We are in the middle of a season with WOW and about to tape another series of episodes next week, so no reason to make any decisions there in the short term. We’re looking forward to getting to know them better.”



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"22 years of my fucking life just got fucking ruined!!!!"---Fan outside Wrestlemania XXX

PRO WRESTLING HALL OF FAME: http://www.angelfire.com/pa5/old (updated September 2 2018)

RIP UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1776-2016
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 Posted: Mon Sep 16th, 2019 09:39 pm
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The AAA show from MSG last night is going to air on AXS this Friday night.



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 Posted: Tue Sep 24th, 2019 02:58 pm
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srossi

 

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PWInsider:

AXS TV just issued a press release announcing that Impact Wrestling will debut on the cable network on Tuesday 10/29 at 8 PM Eastern, bringing Impact to its new forever home. The move will give Impact a new, permanent platform.

While Impact will debut on 10/29 coming out of their Bound for Glory PPV, Impact programming will beging airing on Tuesday 10/1. There will be several weeks of older Impact PPV programs presented as specials with new wrap-around segments hosted by Josh Matthews and Scott D'Amore, including the Homecoming and Slammiversary 2019 PPV events.

On Tuesday 10/22, there will be a two-hour Impact introductory special showcasing the highlights and talents in the company.



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