Steve Harvey is joining a takeover of AXS TV and HDNet Movies, two long-striving cable networks long owned by Mark Cuban.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment is acquiring a majority in the two networks, which specialize in music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle programming. AXS TV began life as HDNet, which launched in 2001, at the dawn of high-definition broadcasting. It rebranded in 2012 after partnering with AEG, and moved deeper into music fare.
The deal also includes AXS TV’s extensive library of owned programming, including wrestling, MMA and entertainment content. HDNet Movies delivers theatrical films from the 1950s to the 2000s to about 12 million U.S. pay-TV households.
Harvey has entered into a strategic agreement for content development and promotion of Anthem’s portfolio of channels, which also include Impact Wrestling, Fight Network, GameTV and the Pursuit Channel. Steve Harvey Global will have a seat on the board of directors of Anthem.
Cuban and AEG will continue to participate as equity partners, and AEG’s advertising and sponsorship sales unit will continue to support the channels in conjunction with Anthem’s sales team.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
AXS TV and HDNet Movies will continue operating from their existing facilities in Denver and LA. The combined company will include Anthem’s playout and production center in Toronto and production facilities in Nashville and Europe.
“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,” Cuban said.
“My team and I see great opportunity in Anthem,” Harvey said. “They have incredible shows, experiential entertainment, and a huge reach.”
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