Anthem Sports & Entertainment has purchased a majority interest in HDNet, parent of the U.S. 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.
Mark Cuban, who founded AXS TV as HDNET in 2001, 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.
Entertainer, producer and businessman Steve Harvey is joining as an investor. He 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 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. “Given Anthem’s portfolio of premium content and complementary programming networks, we could not ask for a better home, and we are looking forward to the results we will collectively generate for this new partnership.”
“My team and I see great opportunity in Anthem,” Harvey said. “They have incredible shows, experiential entertainment, and a huge reach. We look forward to collaborating with Anthem on content development that will surprise and delight this newly expanded audience.”
“Anthem Sports & Entertainment brings a legacy of delivering boundary-breaking programming that perfectly aligns with our programming strategy and global concert venue and music festival assets,” said Charles Hirschhorn, president of AEG TV. “The combination of these television networks with Anthem creates global video destinations for ‘must see’ event programming.”