September 11, 2018
In the era of the #MeToo movement and female empowerment, Cinedigm announced it has acquired exclusive worldwide digital (including live-streaming) distribution rights to The Aurora Games – an ambitious all-female sports and entertainment festival slated for Aug. 20 to 25, 2019.
The event– scheduled to occur every two years celebrating women’s accomplishments against a backdrop of world-class competition and entertainment – is the brainchild of long-time sports executive Jerry Solomon, probably best-known for his business association and marriage to former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.
Soloman-produced sports events include tennis’ BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, World Tennis Day and World Tennis Day events in Hong Kong and London, figure skating’s Tribute to the Golden Age of American Skating, Halloween on Ice and One Enchanted Evening, beach volleyball’s Queen of the Beach Invitational, among others.
High-profile advisors include Donna de Varona, Chris Evert, Nadia Comaneci, Kerrigan and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, among others.
“The Aurora Gamesis coming to audiences at the perfect time,” Yolanda Macias, EVP, content acquisitions, digital sales and studio relations at Cinedigm, said in a statement. “A combination of female empowerment, elite athletes, inspiring personal stories and great entertainment will make this appointment viewing.”
The six-day event, whose inaugural site and related details have yet to be disclosed, represents another opportunity for over-the-top video distribution in live sports programming. Recent high-profile events that secured live-streaming distribution included soccer’s World Cup in Russia (on YouTube TV), the Tour de France bike race (NBC Sports Gold) and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships (Amazon Prime Video in the U.K).
With digital platforms that include The Dove Channel, Docurama and CONtv, The Aurora Games would represent the first foray (with related challenges) into live-streaming for Cinedigm and its Chinese corporate parent.
Indeed, both YouTube and Amazon experienced early technical glitches streaming World Cup soccer and tennis, respectively, to subscribers accustomed to flawless pay-TV broadcasts.
With The Aurora Games a work in progress, Cinedigm’s venture into live-streaming represents a high-profile learning opportunity.
“With streaming rapidly becoming one of the key ways that sports related content is consumed, Cinedigm is once again providing innovative digitally driven distribution services for high quality content partners,” said Bill Sondheim, president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group.