NAB 2019 Reflections: Endeavor Streaming’s Phil Green on How the New Company Is Continuing to Shape Its Identity
NeuLion streaming tech married with the rights power WME-IMG make for a powerful company in the future
It’s been only just over a year since Endeavor acquired the streaming technology outfit NeuLion for $250 million, and it’s only been three months (January of this year), that the result of that purchase – the launch of Endeavor Streaming – became official. So, needless to say, the industry is still getting a feel for what this means for the larger streaming business and the company’s place in it.
Speaking with Phil Green, SVP, Business Development for Endeavor Streaming at the 2019 NAB Show earlier this month, he shares that the dust is beginning to settle on many of the big changes and that the blending of the two organizations has gone very well. He also adds that’s its starting to become much clearer the tremendous opportunities that will be made possible from this acquisition.
“It’s more than a name change; this is who we are,” says Green. “We’re part of this bigger entity and we have so many touch points in the sports and entertainment space now. There’s so many opportunities. Where are we going to be at NAB next year? Who knows. Its changing: the services we’re offering, the partnerships, and the products.”
Last year’s NAB Show came right on the heels of the announcement of the NeuLion acquisition and, inevitably, it left many from the NeuLion end to express excitement for the future but a realistic outlook at the uncertainty of it all. Would standing NeuLion partners continue to be supported? Would whatever the company became shift its attention to William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME-IMG) properties. Turns out the answers are yes and yes. Endeavor Streaming is continuing to put innovative efforts behind UFC FIGHTPASS and PBR RidePass while also exploring new opportunities like the O&O, D2C service, Strive, which is a subscription-based platform that delivers top flight soccer from Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A, and the United States’ Major League Soccer to audiences in Scandanavia.
“[Strive] is an example of how we are able to work with IMG, which owns the rights, to spin up our own service,” says Green. “That’s another avenue we are going. It all comes down to expansion and what makes the most sense with a given partner and their content.”
For Green, that sorting through of current and potential partners has been a main focus for the Endeavor Streaming brand over these first few months.
“How do we structure things in a way where we can identify those partners – be them Tier 1 or Tier 2 – and what are the services we need to provide to each of them? We can be smarter. We’re not spinning our wheels going after every piece of business out there. Let’s go after the ones that really make sense. That’s the focus.”
On the sports partnerships front, the future is bright for Endeavor Streaming as the company will also launch a new platform with the WWE that’s expected to debut later this year.
As the business models of the D2c streaming space continue to evolve, it will interesting to see where Endeavor Streaming, with all of its rights ownership and partnership might, stands.