Monumental Sports & Entertainment, CSN Mid-Atlantic Agree to Robust Media Partnership
Deal grants NBC Sports Group equity partnership in Monumental Sports Network, extends rights for Capitals and Wizards
Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) and CSN Mid-Atlantic have agreed to an advanced media partnership that includes an investment by NBC Sports Group in Monumental Sports Network, MSE’s digital sports and entertainment platform.
As part of a venture-capital investment, NBC Sports Group obtains an equity partnership in Monumental Sports Network, as well as representation on the MSE board of directors.
Monumental Sports Network is slated to launch a subscription over-the-top (OTT), direct-to-consumer service soon, offering live streaming of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and AFL’s Washington Valor games, along with additional events and games through soon-to-be-announced content partnerships.
The deal also extends CSN Mid-Atlantic’s exclusive media rights for the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards and is pending NHL and NBA approval.
Through a cross-equity and leadership structure, MSE becomes an equity partner in CSN Mid-Atlantic and receives representation on the RSN’s board of directors. Having served as the teams’ regional television partner since its launch in 1984, CSN Mid-Atlantic will continue to present live coverage of all non-nationally exclusive Capitals and Wizards regular-season and playoff games, as well as selected preseason games, comprehensive game-day shows, and expanded original content on established and emerging media platforms via television and live streaming.
“We are so happy that our longstanding partnership with CSN Mid-Atlantic will continue well into the future, offering Wizards and Caps fans a fantastic home-entertainment experience, while providing Monumental Sports & Entertainment a stake in CSN Mid-Atlantic, all of which will better position our teams to compete and provide our fans with lifelong memories,” says Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman, majority owner, and CEO of MSE. “This is a really unique deal, reinforcing our position in the heart of the nation’s fastest-growing Super City and reflecting the power of our strategy as a multibrand, multiplatform sports- and entertainment-media company. We’re especially pleased that, by investing in our Monumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Group is embracing the future growth of OTT services that can exist and thrive in parallel with content offered by multichannel-video-programming distributors and other content distributors. This partnership extends possibilities for sports fans at home or on the go, whenever and wherever they choose to consume sports content.”
MSE owns and operates Verizon Center in downtown Washington; owns the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, and Valor; and is co-owner of aXiomatic, which has a controlling interest in global esports franchise Team Liquid. MSE also operates Kettler Capitals Iceplex and EagleBank Arena and is participating in Events DC’s development of St. Elizabeths East into an entertainment and sports community.
“Ted and his team at MSE share in our passion to super-serve fans with compelling content surrounding the sports they love, both now and in the future,” says David Preschlack, president, NBC Sports Regional Networks. “Our new relationship furthers our mission to explore innovative partnerships and offerings in the new-media and OTT space as we strive to offer maximum value to our team partners, distributors, advertisers, and especially the fans.”
In addition to the Capitals and Wizards, CSN Mid-Atlantic is the official sports network of the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens and the region’s home for live ACC and CAA games. CSN Mid-Atlantic delivers more than 400 live game productions per year — along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis, and entertainment programming — to more than 4.5 million homes in Washington, D.C., and Maryland and Virginia.
“CSN Mid-Atlantic is dedicated to providing fans with the highest-quality, most comprehensive coverage of the Capitals and Wizards, and the new partnership with MSE will allow us to continue and expand on that in many new and exciting ways,” says Rebecca Schulte, president, CSN Mid-Atlantic. “While enhancing our longtime position as a valuable asset for fans, affiliates, and advertisers, we can also extend our collective reach through complementary platforms and content.”
Says Zach Leonsis, VP/GM, Monumental Sports Network, “At Monumental Sports Network, we’re especially thrilled to have NBC Sports Group become an equity partner, not only because of the way we now can work together but also because of what their investment says about the potential of OTT platforms and live event streaming, We look forward to announcing new, exclusive sports and entertainment content in the weeks ahead, in addition to providing subscribers with the ability to stream Mystics and Valor games when our AFL team begins playing in 2017. Stay tuned for future announcements on the great programming we’ll offer exclusively.”