Anthem Names Greg Drebin Head of Content and Marketing for AXS TV and HDNet Movies

Anthem Sports and Entertainment has named television executive Greg Drebin head of content and marketing for AXS TV and HDNet Movies.

Drebin will work alongside the newly-appointed president of AXS TV and HDNet Movies Andy Schuon, to whom he will directly report. Schuon and Drebin have a successful business partnership that spans both of their careers, having previously worked together at MTV, CBS Radio, and Universal’s International Music Feed Network, which they co-founded.

“Greg Drebin is an exceptional talent,” Schuon said in a statement. “His dynamic, strategic and innovative mind, and his industry expertise make him a natural fit for what we aim to accomplish at AXS TV and HDNet Movies. I am really looking forward to collaborating with Greg once more.”

Previously, Drebin held the role of EVP of worldwide marketing, publicity and research at Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution (TCFTVD), overseeing global marketing, publicity, and promotional initiatives for the studio’s film and television offerings across linear, SVOD, and streaming services. At Fox, Drebin also managed the TCFTVD research division and their London based Fox Networks Group Content Distribution (FNGCD) marketing and research divisions for The Fox Network International Channels, including National Geographic’s original series and library.

Prior to joining Fox, Drebin was SVP of programming and marketing at Warner Bros. International TV Branded Services, launching and operating more than 50 channels throughout more than 35 countries including WarnerTV channels in Latin America, Asia, and the United Kingdom and Europe. At Warner Bros., he also served as head of marketing for Canada, Asia Pacific and Latin America for television and film distribution.

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Additionally, Drebin’s background includes tenures with Universal Music Group, where he was EVP of the International Music Feed Network — leading all on-air creative content, programming, marketing, and production for the channel, and a decade with MTV, where he was SVP of programming and production. He began his career in entertainment as an NBC page and production assistant where he worked on such iconic series as “Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “NBC Nightly News” and “NFL Live.”

“AXS TV and HDNet Movies are well established networks with strong foundations in music and film.  I look forward to working with Andy again to maximize their potential across all platforms,” Drebin said in a statement.

Anthem Appoints Andy Schuon President of AXS TV and HDNet Movies

Anthem Sports & Entertainment has appointed Andy Schuon president of its AXS TV and HDNet Movies television networks.

Schuon will oversee all aspects of AXS TV and HDNet Movies. With decades of experience developing and leading some of the world’s biggest music and entertainment brands, he has been the head of programming or CEO of six cable networks — three of which he founded.

“Andy Schuon is a true trailblazer in this industry, and a driving force behind many definitive pop culture landmarks that have left an indelible impact throughout the world,” Leonard Asper, president and CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement. “His reputation as a legendary brand builder is well-earned, and his breadth of expertise will be vital in ushering in an important era for both AXS TV and HDNet Movies.”

Schuon is the co-founder of Revolt Media & TV, an independently owned music and television brand. Schuon was EVP and GM of Warner Bros. Records and EVP, head of programming and production for MTV, MTV2, and VH1, where he was the executive producer for the VMAs and MTV Movie Awards and created the first celebrity reality show “Rodman World Tour” with Dennis Rodman.

As chief digital officer and president, artist services, for Ticketmaster and Live Nation, Schuon guided strategy and management of digital assets, investments, and partnerships. He was president of programming and marketing for CBS Radio, where notably he oversaw the execution of the biggest single-client advertising deal in radio history, and spearheaded content and audience strategy for CBS Radio’s network of 185 stations across major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. He was also founder and CEO at Pressplay, later known as Napster.

“Len Asper and I have been talking about the opportunity to leverage the reach of AXS TV and HDNet Movies for some time. I was thrilled when he asked me to lead these networks, and take them to new heights and new platforms” Schuon said in a statement. “Connecting content, especially music related programming, with audiences has been my life’s work. At a time when music moves at the speed of social media, we are uniquely qualified to be the voice of record in the video presentation of music across all platforms.”

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Anthem’s portfolio includes AXS TV, a music, entertainment and sports television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas Ventures; Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel with broadcast distribution across 10-plus countries and available globally through multiple OTT platforms; TNA Wrestling, one of the world’s leading wrestling organizations; Invicta Fighting Championships, the all-women mixed martial arts promotion;  Game+, with sports wagering, Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries.

AXS TV and Spin Magazine Join for ‘Spin 100 Greatest Rock Stars’ Series

AXS TV is partnering with music and culture outlet Spin Magazine to present the original listicle series “Spin 100 Greatest Rock Stars,” premiering Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The 12-episode series on AXS TV is based on the magazine’s landmark “100 Greatest Rock Stars Since That Was A Thing” feature curated by Spin founder Bob Guccione Jr. — a detailed listing of the 100 greatest musicians he believes embody what it means to be a true rock star. “Spin 100 Greatest Rock Stars” serves up a star-studded, sometimes irreverent and often surprising odyssey, spotlighting trailblazers such as Elvis, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Page, Eminem, Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Bob Marley, Gwen Stefani, Grace Slick and Pere Ubu’s David Thomas.

Additionally, the season will feature special “Artist Spotlights” and surprise segments honoring beloved rock stars hailed and revered by their peers such as Sammy Hagar, Brian Wilson and Angus Young; and provide guest commentary from a slate of entertainment icons including Joel McHale, Dee Snider, Stewart Copeland, Carnie Wilson, Steve Vai, Roy Orbison Jr., David Archuleta, Kenny Aronoff, Bruno Major, Bob Mould, Shawn Stockman, and U.K. music journalist Kylie Olsson, among others.

“The problem with lists like this is they are invariably BS. So our prime objective was to make sure we didn’t do a BS list,” Guccione said in a statement. “A rock star is, perhaps by definition, undefinable. They just are. They’re luminescent. Even when, in some cases, they didn’t want to be. I’m excited to bring this list to life with AXS TV. They have a great audience of dedicated and knowledgeable music fans. They’ll let us know what they think.”

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“We are excited to produce this show with SPIN. It has been one the most definitive platforms for music since its inception and this celebration of rock stars is legendary,” Katie Daryl, executive producer of the series and VP of programming for AXS TV, said in a statement. “We hope that this will be the first of many collaborations moving forward into the future as we continue to partner with more and more music brands.”

AXS TV is a multi-platform music and entertainment digital platform and television company owned and operated by Anthem Sports & Entertainment. AXS TV’s library offers content headlined by concerts and music-inspired programming, professional wrestling and MMA.

AXS TV, Spectrum Launch Program to Support Music Education

AXS TV has joined forces with Spectrum to launch “AXS TV’s Band Together for Music Education” — a new initiative connecting AXS TV with affiliates, local communities, and schools to support music education programs.

“AXS TV’s Band Together” is set to launch this month in five markets across California, Florida, New York, Ohio and Texas.

“AXS TV’s Band Together” awards five $10,000 grants to school-age music education programs across the country. These are established programs that exemplify top leadership, instruction, and participation, yet also demonstrate a strong need for further funding and support. Selected teachers can then use the grant to purchase music, fix instruments or buy new ones, repair or replace performance equipment and uniforms, etc.

The inaugural winners were picked from programs in five key Spectrum markets, including Heart of LA — HOLA in Los Angeles; Eastmoor Academy in Columbus, Ohio; Dr. Billy E. Dade Middle School in Dallas; Prine Elementary in Bradenton, Fla.; and Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School (REACS) in Jamaica, N.Y. AXS TV will present each grant at designated events during December and January.

“Enrolling children in music education at an early age has proven to positively impact several facets of their development that continue with them throughout their lives — from building confidence and creativity, to improving reading, math, and communication skills; boosting classroom attendance; and so much more,” according to an AXS TV press release. “Despite this, public school music programs often experience a severe lack of funding and are the first casualties when budget cuts are made. It is a problem that has only increased in recent years.”

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“We’re grateful for the AXS TV ‘Band Together’ partnership, which will help even more children pursue their musical dreams,” said Catherine Bohigian, EVP of government affairs for Charter Communications, which operates the Spectrum brand of internet, TV, mobile and voice services. “Through music education, young people can learn valuable social, academic and creative skills, enriching their lives and preparing them for the future, which complements our commitment to support initiatives that strengthen the communities where we live and work.”

“Instilling a deep passion for music in the younger generations is a major part of AXS TV’s mission, and ‘Band Together’ is a perfect representation of that,” said Anthony Cicione, president of entertainment for AXS TV’s parent company, Anthem Sports & Entertainment. “We are excited to join with Spectrum on this important initiative, giving these talented students vital tools to reach even greater heights as they progress in their musical journeys. Who knows? The students of today could very well become the stars of tomorrow — and we just might be featuring them on our network in the coming years!”

AXS TV is a multi-platform music, entertainment and lifestyle digital platform and television company owned and operated by Anthem Sports & Entertainment. 

Charter Communications is a broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 32 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand.


AXS TV Greenlights Investigative Doc-Series ‘Music’s Greatest Mysteries’

Was Elvis Presley a government informant? Is Avril Lavigne really dead? A new online TV series aims to find out. AXS TV has greenlighted documentary series “Music’s Greatest Mysteries,” which claims to shine a light on the unique and enigmatic stories that shaped the history of music. The series is in production and is slated to debut in the fourth quarter of this year.

Spanning a wide variety of eras and genres — from Hip Hop and Rockabilly, to Country and Grunge — the series investigates the infamous myths and larger-than-life personalities, which have come to define the music industry throughout the decades.

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The series presents a fresh perspective on stories both well known and slightly more obscure, unearthing hidden gems and long-forgotten lore with the help of music icons and noted experts. Blending commentary with archive footage, the series features six episodes in its inaugural season, searching for the answers to intriguing questions such as: “Why did Michael Jackson and Prince feud?,” “The conspiracies of backmasking,” “The myths of  KISS” and “Friends in Low Places,” among other topics.

Not only are the series’ themes meshed in history, but so are the interview locations. Music venues such as The Bluebird Café in Nashville and Antone’s in Austin, Texas, will be woven into the stories.

“[The series] promises to reveal new tales to even the most seasoned music fans,” Sarah Weidman, head of original programming, development and multi-platform content for AXS TV, said in a statement.

Formerly owned by Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” veteran Mark Cuban, AXS TV was acquired last year by Anthem Sports and Entertainment. The deal also included HDNet Movies Networks.

“Music’s Greatest Mysteries” is jointly produced by Texas Crew Productions and Hideout Pictures, with Chip Rives, David Karabinas, Brad Bernstein, Shannon Houchins and Trevor O’Neil serving as executive producers.

National Cable Television Cooperative Renews Distribution Deal for AXS TV and HDNet Movies

The National Cable Television Cooperative — representing more than 750 mid-sized and small independent cable and broadband operators throughout the country — April 28 announced finalizing a multiyear renewal agreement to offer AXS TV and HDNet Movies to its member companies.

AXS TV and HDNet Movies were started by Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban, who then sold the properties to Anthem Sports & Entertainment.

AXS TV specializes in music content, concert events, documentaries and profiles. Original programs include “The Big Interview With Dan Rather,” “Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar,” “The Top Ten Revealed,” and  “Live From Daryl’s House” starring Daryl Hall. The network also streams combat sports content such as “Impact Wrestling” and Mixed Martial Arts competitions.

AXS TV recently launched the new “At Home & Social” initiative in support of families, small businesses, healthcare professionals and many others who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The series gives artists and entertainers a platform to broadcast exclusive live performances from their homes and studios directly to their fans.

Highlights include performances by Dave Matthews, Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Luke Bryan and Ryan Tedder, among others associated with Verizon’s “Pay It Forward” live series, as well as the special event “At Home With Farm Aid” featuring Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Matthews, that raised more than $500,000 for family farmers.

HDNet Movies features award-winning catalog classics, blockbusters and modern favorites from the 1980s to today. The network also presents a wide variety of themed blocks featuring Oscar winners, A-List lineups, celebrity birthdays, special events hosted by notable actors, artists, and experts from across the film industry.

“This important agreement presents us with a valuable opportunity to bring AXS TV and HDNET Movies’ exclusive content to more viewers across the country,” Randy Brown, SVP of distribution for Anthem, said in a statement.

Judy Meyka, EVP, of programming, NCTC., said the cooperative was “excited” to build on the Anthem partnership.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inks Original Content Deal With iHeartMedia

Anthem Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates streaming platforms targeting niche audiences, March 9 announced an original content partnership with audio company iHeartMedia.

Under the multiyear agreement, the companies will collaborate on the co-production of original programming and on the marketing of Anthem’s properties across iHeartMedia’s multi-platform audio network and largest radio broadcaster in the country.

Anthem, which acquired a majority interest in Mark Cuban’s AXS TV in 2019, becomes partners with remaining shareholder Anschutz Entertainment Group while bringing Steve Harvey Global into the company as an investor and advisor on content development.

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Anthem recently announced it had become an investor in PlayersTV, the sports lifestyle digital network being launched by Players Media Group.

“We continue to build key strategic partnerships that expand our reach,” CEO Len Asper said in a statement. “Our new partnership with iHeartMedia gives us access to its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, reaching 9 out of 10 Americans each month through its national network of local radio stations and its ubiquitous digital app, live events, podcasts and other properties.”

Peter Volynsky, EVP of corporate development and ventures for iHeartMedia, said the collaboration underscores the importance combining audio and video entertainment.

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“We are looking forward to collaborating with the Anthem team, offering even more unique and compelling content to our audiences, while also helping them build further awareness and grow their brand through our massive scale and national reach across our powerful multi-platform assets,” Volynsky said.


Mark Cuban Sells Majority Stake in AXS TV, HDNet Movies Network

Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” alum Mark Cuban Sept. 9 disclosed he has sold majority stake in AXS TV and HDNet Movies Network to TV personality Steve Harvey and Anthem Sports.

Anthem Sports will assume operating management of the two channels that cater to music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle audiences. The deal also includes AXS TV’s extensive library of owned programming, including wrestling, MMA and entertainment content.

Originally founded as HDNET by Mark Cuban in 2001. The channel was rebranded to AXS TV in 2012 after partnering with AEG, leading to additional music content development.

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The network’s current programming lineup features live concerts and events, music-themed information and reality programming, live wrestling and MMA, and off-network runs of popular music-themed programming. The network is distributed to more than 50 million homes.

AEG includes AXS TV as part of its own sponsorship portfolio, bringing many AEG partners to the network.

HDNet Movies, available in approximately 12 million U.S. homes, features theatrically released films and documentaries presented in high definition, including a variety of iconic classics and award winners spanning the 1950s to 2000s.

The networks add significantly to Anthem’s rapidly growing portfolio of content, which is currently available in 120 countries and includes diverse and popular sports and entertainment programming targeted to passionate communities with a focus on millennial viewers.

“The addition of AXS TV and HDNet Movies will allow for increased content ownership, digital expansion and even more compelling programming for consumers and our distribution partners,” Leonard Asper, CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement.

Cuban and AEG will continue to participate as equity partners, and AEG Global Partnerships, AEG’s advertising and sponsorship sales unit, will continue to support the channels in conjunction with Anthem’s sales team.

Joining as an investor is entertainer, producer and businessman Harvey, who will also enter into a strategic agreement for content development and promotion of Anthem’s portfolio of channels. Steve Harvey Global will have a seat on the board of directors of Anthem.

Anthem’s board of directors will also include Ted Goldthorpe, head of BC Partners Credit, a lead financier on the acquisition; Rick Ehrman, a former senior executive at Univision and NBC Universal; Robert Foster, founder and CEO of Capital Canada; Scott Honour, founding principal of Northern Pacific Group; and Loudon Owen, chairman and CEO of DLT Labs.

“Anthem’s combination of targeted brands, enthusiastic audiences, operational expertise, international footprint and vision makes them an ideal partner to take AXS TV and HDNet Movies to their next levels,”  Cuban said. “Given Anthem’s portfolio of premium content and complementary programming networks, we could not ask for a better home, and we are looking forward to the results we will collectively generate for this new partnership.”

“My team and I see great opportunity in Anthem,” Harvey said. “They have incredible shows, experiential entertainment, and a huge reach. We look forward to collaborating with Anthem on content development that will surprise and delight this newly expanded audience.”

AXS TV and HDNet Movies will continue operating from their existing facilities in Denver and Los Angeles, and the combined company will include Anthem’s playout and production center in Toronto and production facilities in Nashville and Europe.

“Anthem Sports & Entertainment brings a legacy of delivering boundary-breaking programming that perfectly aligns with our programming strategy and global concert venue and music festival assets,” said Charles Hirschhorn, President, AEG TV. “The combination of these television networks with Anthem creates global video destinations for ‘must see’ event programming.”

With this transaction, Anthem channels are now estimated to reach nearly 150 million global TV homes, including more than 110 million MVPD-served TV households in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition, Anthem’s proprietary content is distributed to more than 160 million global TV homes through licensing agreements with some of the world’s premier networks. Anthem’s networks and content also are available on nearly every major streaming service and digital platforms.

Anthem has offices and studios in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and Nashville, and in Europe. Its portfolio includes:

“Impact Wrestling,” one of the world’s largest wrestling entertainment properties, creating more than 300 hours of original content annually across television and other digital platforms.

The channel specializes in premium content, pay-per-view events, products and merchandise, as well as the management, promotion and training of professional wrestlers.

“Impact Plus,” a multi-platform mobile app and digital subscription video-on-demand platform and one of the newest additions to the Anthem family of services, featuring live monthly premium network specials, instant access to the 3,000-plus hour Impact Wrestling library, groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, and exclusive events from international partners.

“Fight Network,” the world’s premier combat sports channel, dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports including fights, fight news and the fight lifestyle as well as mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, professional wrestling, traditional martial arts and more.

“Fight Network” produces and owns its own library of fight themed documentaries and interview programs and is delivered to more than 43 million TV homes in the U.S., Canada and more than 15 other countries.

“GameTV,” featuring game show formats and programming, both current and past; reality, drama and documentary series; feature films; sports-based games including esports, poker, and card-based games; and live sporting events – all delivered to more than 8 million television homes throughout Canada.

“GameTV” also features online cash and social gaming through

Game+, a cutting edge, millennial-targeted sports and entertainment channel, featuring sports-wagering programs, esports events, news and information, fantasy sports programming, high stakes poker, and other action-driven shows and lifestyle programming.

Game+ is distributed in more than 1 million MVPD TV homes in Canada and the U.S.

Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S, offering outdoor enthusiasts diverse programming from calm freshwater fishing to fast-paced deer and waterfowl hunting. Pursuit Channel is available to more than 35 million TV homes in the US served by cable, satellite and IPTV.

Through its app PursuitUP the channel is also available on OTT streaming services.