STIRR Player Parent Inks Cinedigm Partnership Deal


Digital content distribution company Cinedigm has inked a distribution acceleration agreement with the parent company of a streaming service that already has a home on Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned ad-supported streaming service STIRR.

The partnership sees Cinedigm working closely with the continued rollout of Team Whistle, which operates the Whistle TV OTT and video-on-demand sports and entertainment network.

Whistle TV offers viewers original shows and library content from studios, networks and sports leagues. In addition to STIRR, it is available on Samsung TV Plus and Vizio SmartCast.

With content distribution on linear, AVOD and SVOD platforms via connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices, and web-based and online OTT services a rapidly growing desire for both media companies and marketers clamoring to keep up with shifting video consumption habits, how over-the-air TV station owners fit into the broader OTT landscape will continue to be of paramount importance in C-Suite conversations over the next decade.

For Sinclair, which is presently struggling with COVID-19 sports league suspensions following the recent acquisition of FOX’s regional sports networks, STIRR could be the spark that brings it and its over-the-air brethren into the 2020s and beyond.

“As we continue to drive innovation and growth of the streaming sector amidst a once-in-a-generation period of change, we are constantly looking for partners that represent where the business is headed,” said Erick Opeka, President of Cinedigm Digital Networks. “Team Whistle’s premium content, massive scale and unmatched marketing make them a fantastic partner as we reinvent television together.”

Whistle’s exclusive original programming includes the series No Days Off, My Hustle, Dunk League and Bad Jokes.

Sports from the NCAA, Red Bull, World Arm Wrestling and Glory Kickboxing are also included in the programming.

“Whistle TV is a first of its kind OTT network, bringing our unparalleled positive, relatable content to viewers in new ways,” said Michael Cohen, President of Team Whistle. “Our strategy is driven by deep consumer insights & intelligence, and our goal is to deliver the content our audience craves where, when and how they want it. Cinedigm understands this, has extraordinary distribution relationships, and is the perfect partner to help us achieve our goals.”

Team Whistle in 2020 has seen weekly network viewership rise by more than 50% since early March, generating 4.2 billion global video views per month — thanks in part to shelter-at-home COVID-19 restrictions.