Xumu Adds Anthem’s AXS TV Now and Fight Network to FAST Channel Lineup

Two properties from Anthem Sports and Entertainment — the music and entertainment hub AXS TV Now and combat sports outlet Fight Network — are now available as new ad-supported FAST channel offerings on Xumo.

AXS TV Now and Fight Network join fellow Anthem property The Impact Wrestling Channel, which launched on XUMO in 2020. All three services have multi-year agreements on the platform.

AXS TV Now is an “always on” entertainment, music and lifestyle network curated for passionate pop culture enthusiasts. AXS TV Now’s roster highlights both original and acquired programming including  “The Big Interview With Dan Rather,” “The Top Ten Revealed,” “Music’s Greatest Mysteries,” and “A Year in Music,” hosted by Grammy-winning Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale; as well as digital-exclusive series such as the intimate artist profile “At Home and Social”; and a selection of special events featuring performances from Bon Jovi, Chrissie Hynde, KISS and Noel Gallagher, and award-winning rock docs such as Lenny Kravitz: Just Let Go, among many others.

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Fight Network is a destination for 24/7 combat sports coverage, with live and classic MMA and boxing events from around the world. Additionally, Fight Network has original programs, including “Retrospective,” “Diary,” “In 60” and “After the Fight.”

Gravitas Ventures Appoints Chris Horton Senior Director of Business Development

Gravitas Ventures, an Anthem Sports and Entertainment company, has appointed film veteran Chris Horton senior director of business development.

Horton reports to Gravitas president Michael Murphy.

In his newly-created role, Horton will be responsible for developing original IP to further bolster the content libraries of Gravitas and Anthem properties — driving the media companies’ mission to create and distribute content across multiple platforms. The new IP will be produced for AVOD and FAST channel platforms, complementing the company’s already-existing roster of FAST channels that includes AXS TV Now, IMPACT! Wrestling, Gravitas Movies, Gravitas Documentaries, Gravitas Adrenaline, Fight Network, Unexplained and Inside Sportfishing.

Horton has more than 20 years of experience across every facet of the independent film landscape — ranging from financing and production to sales and distribution. Before joining Gravitas, he spent nine years with the Sundance Institute, where he founded and led the Creative Distribution Initiative. While there, Horton also spearheaded the marketing and distribution efforts for more than 200 films, including Columbus, Unrest and Thunder Road. Prior to joining Sundance, Horton served as the head of acquisitions for independent distributor FilmBuff, where he acquired more than 300 films. He spent his early career working with John Sloss’ Cinetic Media.

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“It’s thrilling to be working with Nolan, Michael, and the rest of the Gravitas team,” Horton said in a statement. “I’ve known and admired them for years, and am excited to implement and drive new content strategies to help the company grow.” 

“As we continue to produce new FAST channels in a dynamic global environment, adding senior talent with strong experience as entertainment executives with a solid foundational understanding of how to connect the dots becomes more and more crucial,” Murphy said in a statement. “If you know Gravitas, you know Chris was cut from a similar cloth, making him the perfect complement to our team. It’s great to have an immediate shorthand with a new teammate and it’s been fun to watch Chris triangulate on viable commercial opportunities right out of the gate. We could not be more excited to have him onboard.”

Anthem Acquires Gravitas Ventures

Anthem Sports and Entertainment, a multi-platform media company, has acquired content distributor Gravitas Ventures from Red Arrow Studios.

Anthem purchased the distributor for $73 million in cash and an additional common stock consideration component, according to the companies.

Gravitas founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher, president Michael Murphy, EVP and general counsel Brendan Gallagher, and CFO Brian Kenyon join the Anthem executive team. Additionally, the entire Gravitas Ventures organization will remain intact.

Gravitas Ventures joins Anthem’s roster of properties that includes AXS TV, HDNET Movies, IMPACT Wrestling, Invicta Fighting Championships, Fight Network, Game+ and GameTV. The purchase gives Anthem more than 8,000 hours of sports and entertainment content in its library to complement its seven consumer-facing streaming channel brands, according to a press release.

Cleveland-based Gravitas Ventures has been part of Red Arrow Studios since November 2017, and typically releases more than 300 films and documentaries per year. The most recent high-profile films in the portfolio include the 2020 feature The Secret: Dare to Dream, starring Katie Holmes, and the 2021 film Queen Bees, starring Ellen Burstyn and James Caan.

The deal gives Anthem’s properties access to Gravitas Ventures titles and opens up new areas of growth and revenue for Anthem’s existing content library, “allowing Anthem to utilize Gravitas’ rich partnerships with top digital platforms,”according to the release. Upon completion of the transaction, Anthem will add more than 200 customers to its ranks, while unlocking additional promotion opportunities for its various business units and enabling Gravitas to invest further in content opportunities, new themed channels and to enter the television distribution market.

The deal will allow Gravitas “to harness the full power of the library  leveraging Anthem’s expertise in launching highly-successful global FAST digital channels to create all-new themed channels specifically based around their unique content offerings,” according to the press release.

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“This is a significant step forward for Anthem in its mission to build a next-generation media company that is primed for the digital future, keeping Anthem ahead of the curve with the current trajectory of the fast-paced streaming-first entertainment ecosystem,” Leonard Asper, founder and CEO of Anthem, said in a statement. “Gravitas is a world leader in film and documentary distribution and provides Anthem with a major presence across the top digital platforms. We are happy to welcome Nolan, Michael, Brendan, Brian and the Gravitas team on board, and to broaden our shareholder base to include Gravitas Ventures’ management and Red Arrow Studios. We are excited to build upon the incredible success that they have already achieved.”

“Anthem perfectly complements Gravitas Ventures’ mindset and mission, presenting several major platforms where our films can thrive while opening up dynamic new areas and opportunities that will be vital in helping our company grow,” Nolan Gallagher, founder of Gravitas, said in a statement. “They have had tremendous success with all of their acquired properties, taking a hands-on approach that shows a great understanding for their unique products and what it takes to keep them on top in this highly competitive industry. We feel confident being a part of a talented Anthem team that is more than equipped to lead the charge for our filmmakers on this journey, and we could not be more excited to begin this new era in the legacy of Gravitas Ventures.”