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Anthem Media Purchases Majority Interest In AXS TV, Impact Wrestling Moving To Network

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Anthem Media has purchased majority interest in AXS TV. The company sent out a press release outlining the deal, indicating that Mark Cuban and AEG will continue to participate as equity partners.

PWInsider is reporting that with the purchase, IMPACT Wrestling will have a new home on AXS TV, with a possible second show on Pursuit Network. AXS TV is currently home to New Japan Pro Wrestling, and WOW Women Of Wrestling.

The following press release was issued this afternoon.

ANTHEM SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT TO PARTNER WITH AXS TV FOUNDER MARK CUBAN; ACQUIRES MAJORITY INTEREST IN AXS TV AND HDNET MOVIES NETWORKS

AEG REMAINS ACTIVE PARTNER

STEVE HARVEY GLOBAL JOINS ANTHEM AS INVESTOR AND STRATEGIC PARTNER

Deal Expands Anthem’s Reach to Nearly 150 Million Households, Creating a Major New Force in Entertainment, Music and Sports Programming

TORONTO | DALLAS | LOS ANGELES – September 9, 2019 – Anthem Sports & Entertainment, a global multiplatform media company, today announced it  has acquired a majority interest in HDNet LLC, parent of the widely distributed U.S. television networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies, and will assume operating management of the two popular channels that cater to music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle audiences. The deal also includes AXS TV’s extensive library of owned programming, including wrestling, MMA and entertainment content.

The two networks add significantly to Anthem’s rapidly growing portfolio of content, which is currently available in 120 countries and includes diverse and popular sports and entertainment programming targeted to passionate communities with a focus on millennial viewers.

“We are very excited to add these two successful channels to our portfolio,” said Leonard Asper, CEO, Anthem Sports & Entertainment. “Anthem was founded with a mission to deliver compelling, targeted content and experiences to passionate fans globally on the platform of their choice. The music, sports and entertainment communities served by these channels are a natural extension and perfect complement to our existing properties.  The addition of AXS TV and HDNet Movies will allow for increased content ownership, digital expansion and even more compelling programming for consumers and our distribution partners.”

Mark Cuban 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.

Joining as an investor is entertainer, producer and businessman Steve Harvey, who 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 board of directors will also include Ted Goldthorpe, head of BC Partners Credit, a lead financier on the acquisition;  Rick Ehrman, a former senior executive at Univision and NBC Universal; Robert Foster, founder and CEO of Capital Canada; Scott Honour, founding principal of Northern Pacific Group; and Loudon Owen, chairman and CEO of DLT Labs.

“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,” Mark 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,” Steve 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.”

AXS TV and HDNet Movies will continue operating from their existing facilities in Denver and Los Angeles, and the combined company will include Anthem’s playout and production center in Toronto and production facilities in Nashville and Europe.

“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, AEG TV. “The combination of these television networks with Anthem creates global video destinations for ‘must see’ event programming.”

With this transaction, Anthem channels are now estimated to reach nearly 150 million global TV homes, including more than 110 million MVPD-served TV households in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, Anthem’s proprietary content is distributed to more than 160 million global TV homes through licensing agreements with some of the world’s premier networks. Anthem’s networks and content also are available on nearly every major streaming service and digital platforms.

Anthem has offices and studios in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and Nashville, and in Europe. Its portfolio includes:

  • IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world’s largest wrestling entertainment properties, creating more than 300 hours of original content annually across television and other digital platforms. IMPACT Wrestling specializes in premium content, pay-per-view events, products and merchandise, as well as the management, promotion and training of professional wrestlers;
  • IMPACT Plusa multi-platform mobile app and digital subscription video-on-demand platform and one of the newest additions to the Anthem family of services, featuring live monthly premium network specials, instant access to the 3,000-plus hour IMPACT Wrestling library, groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, and exclusive events from international partners;
  • Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel, dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports including fights, fight news and the fight lifestyle as well as mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, professional wrestling, traditional martial arts and more. Fight Network produces and owns its own library of fight themed documentaries and interview programs and is delivered to more than 43 million TV homes in the U.S., Canada and more than 15 other countries;
  • GameTV, featuring game show formats and programming, both current and past; reality, drama and documentary series; feature films; sports-based games including esports, poker, and card-based games; and live sporting events – all delivered to more than 8 million television homes throughout Canada. GameTV also features online cash and social gaming through igamestv.com;
  • Game+, a cutting edge, millennial-targeted sports and entertainment channel, featuring sports-wagering programs, esports events, news and information, fantasy sports programming, high stakes poker, and other action-driven shows and lifestyle programming.  Game+ is distributed in more than 1 million MVPD TV homes in Canada and the US; and
  • Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S, offering outdoor enthusiasts diverse programming from calm freshwater fishing to fast-paced deer and waterfowl hunting. Pursuit Channel is available to more than 35 million TV homes in the US served by cable, satellite and IPTV. Through its app PursuitUP the channel is also available on OTT streaming services.

AXS TV is a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle channel, including live concerts and sports events, originally founded as HDNET by Mark Cuban in 2001. The channel was rebranded in 2012 after partnering with AEG, leading to additional music content development. The network’s current programming lineup features live concerts and events, music-themed information and reality programming, live wrestling and MMA, and off-network runs of popular music-themed programming. The network is distributed to more than 50 million homes.

AEG includes AXS TV as part of its own sponsorship portfolio, bringing many AEG partners to the network.

HDNet Movies, available in approximately 12 million U.S. homes, features theatrically released films and documentaries presented in high definition, including a variety of iconic classics and award winners spanning the 1950s to 2000s.

For more information, visit www.anthemse.com.

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Daily News Report

Changes Made To NXT Takeover: WarGames Match Card

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Tonight during NXT on USA, changes were made to the NXT Takeover: WarGames card.

It was announced that Matt Riddle will no longer compete in the Men’s WarGames match, and will instead face Finn Balor in a singles match. Dominik Dijakovic has replaced Matt Riddle in the WarGames match.

Johnny Gargano was originally scheduled to face Finn Balor, but due to an injury announced during last night’s WWE Backstage event, he will no longer compete. Gargano is reportedly suffering a neck injury.

NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray made an appearance, assisting Io Shirai in winning a Ladder Match against Mia Yim in the main event of the show. Kay Lee Ray is expected to be the final member of Team Baszler at NXT Takeover.

NXT Takeover: WarGames Match Card

  • War Games Match: Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox and Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair and Kay Lee Ray
  • War Games Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong) vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and TBA
  • Finn Bálor vs. Matt Riddle

NXT Takeover: WarGames will emanate from the Allstate Arena on 11/23 in Chicago, IL.

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Daily News Report

First Time Ever Women’s Tag Team Tables, Ladders, Chairs Match Advertised For WWE TLC

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Local advertising for WWE’s next PPV following Survivor Series has begun.

WWE will host TLC at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN on on 12/15.

According to advertising sent to the Target Center, the following matches are currently penciled in for the event.

  • TLC Match: King Corbin vs. Roman Reigns
  • First Time Ever Women’s Tag Team TLC Match: Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs. The Kabuki Warriors (Women’s Tag Team Championship Match)
  • Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley

WWE returns to the Twin Cities with its first Pay Per View in over two years! See your favorite superstars put their bodies and careers in jeopardy including:

ROMAN REIGNS vs. KING CORBIN (in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)

BECKY LYNCH & CHARLOTTE vs. KABUKI WARRIORS (for the FIRST TIME EVER for the Women’s Tag Team Championship a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)

RUSEV vs. BOBBY LASHLEY w/ LANA

…. and more! *Card is subject to change*

Local advertising usually has placeholder matches, which are subject to change. WWE advertising a Women’s TLC Match would indicate that they are in talks to host that match at the event.

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Daily News Report

ACH Announces He Quit WWE, No Longer Wants To Be Known As Jordan Myles (Video)

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ACH fka Jordan Myles Has Quit WWE

Following several weeks of is controversy involving a t-shirt design, Albert Hardie Jr. aka Jordan Myles took so social media to announce he has quit WWE.

In a video posted on social media, ACH states he is no longer employed with WWE, and he refuses to work for racists.

“As of today, I’d like to officially announce that I quit f—ing WWE. I am no longer employed, I refuse to work for racists… I f—ing quit. F— them. I hate that f—ing company and everything they f—ing stand for. All they ever did was hold our f—ing people back. I do this s— for the culture. I don’t need anyone’s f—ing permission to do what I want to do. Screw Jordan Myles, don’t ever call me by that slave name. Call me ACH and don’t forget the Super, b—! I quit!”

Check out the video below, word of caution, the language is NSFW.

ACH has been vocal on social media following a scrapped t-shirt design WWE released in September.

No word from WWE whether he has been released from the company.

Thanks to comicbook.com for the transcription.

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