Eleven Sports Makes It Official, Confirms Acquisition of ONE World Sports Distribution Assets
The announcement does not address thousands of dollars owed ONE World Sports employees and freelancers
Eleven Sports has confirmed that it has acquired certain distribution assets of ONE World Sports. The announcement comes after ONE World Sports’ linear channel was rebranded as Eleven Sports last weekend. The deal means that UK-based Eleven Sports, which launched in 2015 and already operates multiple linear channels and streaming platforms around the world, has officially broken into the U.S. market. The announcement does not, however, address whether employees and freelancers owed thousands of dollars by ONE World Sports will be compensated as part of the deal.
With the acquisition of certain ONE World Sports distribution assets, the U.S. network is available to 50 million homes through carriage deals including but not limited to AT&T, DirecTV, Verizon, Charter, and NCTC. According to the announcement, Eleven Sports will “be the network for under-represented fans” and plans to build a portfolio of U.S. rights to cycling, ice hockey, basketball, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, cricket, drone racing, and other millennial-focused sports. Specific information about those rights will be made public in the near future.
Last November, ONE World Sports furloughed nearly all its employees and began airing to reruns in November. According to multiple freelancers who have reached out to SVG, ONE World Sports has yet to pay thousands of dollars owed for their work on production of 2016 New York Cosmos soccer games, Ivy League football, and other events. Among the crew owed are producers, directors, graphics producers, and on-air talent.
Eleven Sports launched in 2015 and operates multiple linear channels and streaming platforms in Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Singapore, and Taiwan. Across these territories, fans receive 2,500-4,000 hours of live premium sports productions annually, along with news, analysis, digital, and localized programming. With entry into the U.S. market, the company will now reach 70 million households globally. Eleven Sports is owned by The Channels Co. and Andrea Radrizzani, founder of global investment company Aser and founding partner and vice chairman of international sports-rights agency MP & Silva.
“Entering the U.S. market presents a significant moment for Eleven and a fantastic opportunity that is aligned to our core strategy to reach and connect with millennial fans everywhere with refreshing and exciting content,” said Marc Watson, executive chairman, Eleven Sports and Aser Media, in the announcement. “By breaking into the U.S. market, we are opening the door to 50 million more fans from day one, and we are committed to providing them with live action and unique insight into sports content that is both engaging and tailored to suit fans’ specific interests.”
Added Danny Menken, group managing director, Eleven Sports, “Following our launches in several other countries over the past two years, we have seen fans gravitate towards our content ,thanks to our strategy to deliver content tailored to specific markets in a fan-friendly way. We know that there are fans in the U.S. who are underserved by the current sports networks, and we are ready to give the fans what they want. This is an incredibly exciting time for us and a great opportunity to grow our global offer.”