Neulion Rebranded to Endeavor Streaming, Snatches WWE from Disney’s BamTech Media

Backend tech support for streaming video is becoming big business.

Endeavor Talent Agency, whose subsidiaries include William Morris Endeavor, IMG, and Ultimate Fighting Championship, announced the formation of Endeavor Streaming, encompassing the company’s video streaming products and services.

The over-the-top video venture is driven by Neulion, which Endeavor acquired in 2018 for $250 million.

NeuLion, which provides backend support for live-sports streaming, is being absorbed within the new group alongside Endeavor’s internally developed video platform technology, and now operates under the Endeavor Streaming moniker.

Endeavor Streaming provides backend tech support for the NFL, NBA, UFC, and Euroleague. Notably, the platform just signed professional wrestling brand WWE away from Disney’s BamTech Media.

BamTech, which Disney acquired for about $3 billion, provides streaming tech support for ESPN+, HBO Now, PlayStation Vue, The Blaze and WatchESPN, among other services. It will also power Disney’s upcoming branded SVOD service.

With more than 1.6 million subscribers, WWE Network is one of the largest sports-entertainment OTT platforms in the world. Endeavor also supports U.K.-based BT and its new service, BT Sport Box Office; and OSN, the Middle East and North Africa’s entertainment network.

Endeavor Streaming will be co-led by chief technology officer Nick Wilson and president of business operations Will Staeger. Staeger previously served as SVP within IMG’s original content division following time at ESPN, WWE, and Dick Clark Productions.

“We’ve integrated Endeavor’s scalable platform with NeuLion’s industry leading technology and feature set to provide clients with the best tools and services in video streaming, removing technology as a barrier in reaching their consumers,” Wilson and Staeger said in a co-statement.

Endeavor Streaming will continue servicing major media providers, including Univision, Sportsnet, Sky Sports, MSG, National Geographic, and Big Ten Network. The group will also continue supporting Endeavor properties like PBR (Ride Pass) and UFC (UFC.tv and Fight Pass).

The platform recently streamed “UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor,” and received the “OTT TV Service of the Year” award at the Content Innovation Awards ahead of MIPCOM for its work on the NBA League Pass International product.

Meanwhile, the group has launched several new consumer products, including “Serie A Pass” and “Strive,” the latter of which features action from both Serie A and La Liga, Italy and Spain’s professional soccer leagues, respectively.

 

 

Talent Firm Endeavor Acquires Video Streaming Company NeuLion

Digital media distribution company NeuLion and sports and entertainment talent firm Endeavor March 26 announced a merger agreement by which Endeavor will acquire NeuLion in an all-cash deal valued at about $250 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Endeavor will acquire each share of outstanding common stock of NeuLion for 84 cents a share. Upon completion of the transaction, Plainview, N.Y.-based NeuLion will become a privately held subsidiary of Beverley Hills, Calif.-based Endeavor.

The talent firm will use NeuLion to help clients expand streaming video distribution and monetizing opportunities.

“NeuLion provides an ideal combination of technology and client services, and we’re excited for the value this brings to our existing partners and the foundation it provides for our future digital growth,” Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, said in a statement.

The transaction, approved by NeuLion’s board of directors and by the written consent of holders of a majority of outstanding common stock, is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. It is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

“We’re excited by the value delivered to our stockholders through this transaction, and we’re looking forward to the dynamic opportunities that being part of the Endeavor family will provide for both our current and new clients,” said Roy Reichbach CEO of NeuLion.

NeuLion expects to release fourth-quarter 2017 earnings on March 30.