Anthem Sports & Entertainment has acquired a majority interest in HDNet LLC, parent of the MVPD-distributed networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies.
Anthem will assume operating management of the two channels, which cater to music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle audiences.
The deal also includes AXS TV’s library of owned programming, including wrestling, MMA and entertainment content.
The two networks add to Anthem’s content portfolio, which is currently available in 120 countries and includes sports and entertainment programming targeted to millennials.
Anthem CEO Leonard Asper said, “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.
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 has offices and studios in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and Nashville, and in Europe.