EXCLUSIVE: ReachMe TV, a multi-channel, multi-platform network that has reach to 100 million total viewers in hotels, airports and retail stores, is launching a dedicated sports division.
ReachMe Sports will aim to go “beyond the game,” in the words of ReachMe founders Lynnwood Bibbens and Ron Bloom. The new division has set multiyear production, programming and distribution partnerships with Audience Network, Sports Illustrated and The Players’ Tribune. Billy King, former general manager of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, will serve as president of ReachMe Sports.
“I was immediately attracted to the Bibbens and Bloom vision of ‘sports beyond the game,’ and our growing list of partners have had a similar, positive reaction,” King said. “We have an incredible opportunity here and have already established a tremendous group of new partners who will empower our vision to highlight the best from sports, both on and off the field, by bringing their stories to a new audience in a new format.”
Under the deal with AT&T’s Audience Network, ReachMe will gain access to signature talk shows featuring Rich Eisen, Dan Patrick and Joe Buck. ReachMe can select and package key interviews from the shows at dates, times and in venues where sports fans are likely to be in front of screens. The Players’ Tribune will offer regular short-form video and other content, and Sports Illustrated will provide access to its daily SI Now talk show.
“Sports broadcasting is a big business and one that we see a great opportunity to disrupt,” Bibbens said. “We have solved the distribution dilemma with our platform, and we are already delivering custom programming to millions of viewers in multiple markets here and abroad. With these new partners and our innovative, ‘beyond the game’ approach to packaging and programming, we believe our new channel will hit the sweet spot for fans who are looking for diversified sports content that goes beyond the field of play.”
Bloom said existing sports networks “have become tired, and sports fans are becoming tired of them.” He added, “Fans want to be fans again and we want to give them that opportunity! By mixing best of breed sports content from our partners with new forms and formats from our own studio, we want to breathe life back into the game.”
The sports news followed word last summer that ReachMe reached a 10-year deal with CBS allowing the company to program and distribute news and sports programming, including local news, weather and sports reports from CBS stations. The company has also made arrangements with global animation house Toonz and Virgin Produced.