Eleven Sports, the UK sports channel thought to be circling around One World Sports, made it official Thursday, announcing that it has purchased certain distribution assets of the troubled network.
Terms were not disclosed.
One World had been on the ropes over the past several months, after one suitor unexpectedly backed away from a deal for the network, which forced it to furlough much of its staff.
Eleven Sports is owned by global investment company Aser and its founder, Italian investor Andrea Radrizzani, who also is the founding partner and vice chairman of MP & Silva, an international sports rights company. Through Aser Radrizzani purchased 50% of second tier UK Championship League team Leeds United.
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Eleven Sports launched in 2015 as a linear and streaming sports service and according to its website has launched multiple channels across select markets in Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Singapore and Taiwan. The company says it offers live coverage of sports events from around the world, analysis, digital content and local programming. In a statement, Eleven Sports said that with the deal, the channel is now available in 50 million homes in the U.S through carriage deals with AT&T, DirecTV, Verizon, Charter, the National Cable Television Cooperative and others, though the network's actual subscriber count would be a much smaller number than 50 million.
“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 young fans everywhere,” Eleven Sports executive chairman Marc Watson said in a release. “By breaking into the U.S. market, we are opening the door to 50 million 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.”
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