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One World Sports Nears U.K. Deal

Troubled One World Sports, the fledgling U.S. sports network that furloughed most of its staff in November, could be close to a deal with the United Kingdom-based Eleven Sports Network, according to reports.

News that a deal could be in the works was first reported by sports website World Soccer Talk, which noted One World began rebranding itself as Eleven Sports on Saturday (March 11).

Eleven Sports is owned by The Channels Co., Ltd., and Italian investor Andrea Radrizzani, founder of global investment company Aser and 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.

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 an email message Eleven Sports spokeswoman Colleen Lynch said the channel “will have more details later this week,” but until then it had no further comment.

One World Sports has been struggling to stay afloat over the past several months and had to furlough a large chunk of its staff in November. At the time, CEO Sandy Brown had said the network was in talks with a potential buyer, which apparently turned out to be Eleven Sports.

One Word Sports was formed in 2010 and is owned by Dallas-based One Media Corp. The network primarily offers NASL soccer games – One Media’s chairman is former New York Cosmos owner Seamus O’Brien – English soccer from Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, and FC Bayern Munich and top soccer from Asia and the Pacific Rim. The network also telecasts the England National Cricket Team’s international home matches, Kontinental Hockey League, Champions Hockey League, Chinese Basketball Association, OneAsia Golf Tour, and table tennis and badminton competitions around the world.

Whether that programming would continue under new owners remains to be seen. The Cosmos were purchased in January by Mediacom Communications chairman, CEO and founder Rocco Commisso., who has said while a TV deal is critical, it is more of a long-term priority than a short-term one.