John Bryan, former president of MGM Television, has teamed with TV station owner and entrepreneur Bert Ellis Jr. to buy a 50% stake of clip show producer Mighty Oak Entertainment.
Through the purchase of the stake from Mighty Oak founder Mark O’Brien, Bryan and Ellis have joined the company as president and chairman, respectively.
Mighty Oak is known for producing Whacked Out Sports, which the company says is the second longest-running clip show after America’s Funniest Home Videos. The company has a library of 578 episodes of the series in various formats. Beyond the Whacked Out franchise, the company produces and distributes series like TV Auto Show, Goofball Sports, Monster Knockout and Sports Pizza.
The economic model of clip shows has proven a good fit for the internet age, with the proliferation of digital and social platforms offering opportunities and new venues for Mighty Oak’s programming. Another new development is legalized sports betting.
“This partnership with John and Bert is an opportunity to take our areas of expertise and bring them together to build a multi-platform network of content for the global marketplace,” O’Brien said. “We have over 10,000 clips with music licensed in perpetuity that is available for all areas of distribution. We each bring unique skill sets to maximize the library, expand titles and create new IP.”
Bryan described sports as a “global and universal vertical of entertainment that is wildly popular. We see the strong potential to monetize the existing library and develop new formats and content. To have an evergreen library, free of rights issues is a powerful position to be in, since demand for content is increasing in the worldwide marketplace.”
Ellis said the newly constituted team will be able “to take both sets of rights to market while continuing to create content that is vibrant, funny and of interest to viewers around the world on screens of all sizes.”
Bryan spent 12 years at MGM and before that 17 years at Buena Vista Television as EVP of Sales.
Ellis runs Ellis Capital, a consulting and investment firm focused on the media, technology, healthcare and fintech sectors. He is CEO of KDOC-TV in LA and co-founder and president of Titan Broadcast Management. He was a founding investor and board member of WebMD as well as Act III Broadcasting, Ellis Communications and NRJ Broadcasting.
O’Brien followed a two-decade stint at Warner Bros. by launching Mighty Oak in 2005.
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