The NFL will partner with Top Gun studio Skydance Media on a joint venture focused on sports-related content.
What's the deal?
The NFL had been looking for a studio partner to help it tap into the red-hot sports documentary space and move beyond the gridiron. NFL Films is considered the gold standard among sports production houses. NFL Films and HBO have had a long and fruitful partnership with the "Hard Knocks" series, which follows a single team throughout training camp. An in-season version debuted last year.
"We could not be prouder to partner with the NFL to build Skydance Sports into the premiere global sports content studio. Being in business with the most prestigious and far-reaching brands in sport is an honor, and the opportunities for storytelling, consumer resonance, and success are endless," said David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media. "With the power and expertise of the NFL, NFL Films, and Skydance Media, Skydance Sports is poised to deliver some of the most compelling sports content of our generation."
The bottom line:
The NFL is beefing up its content output as it looks to find a buyer for a stake in its media business.
Amazon Prime Video announced the launch of “Sports Talk,” a live daily programming block dedicated to 12 hours of sports-talk content. Broadcasting Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET on Prime Video, viewers in the U.S. can access seven new shows on Sports Talk without a Prime membership. It will also be available on Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming TV service, Freevee, and Amazon’s live radio app, Amp.
Amazon partnered with production company Embassy Row to bring a programming block that can be an “‘always on’ sports destination for customers,” the company wrote in its announcement. The new shows include “Bonjour Sports Talk,” which is hosted by sports broadcasters Madelyn Burke and Ben Lyons, plus a guest host that rotates weekly; “The Cari Champion Show,” with former ESPN anchor Cari Champion; “Game Breakers,” with writers and comedians Eitan Levine and Drexton Clemons; “From the Desk of Master T,” with Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion; and “The Power Hour,” with commentator and former tennis player Rennae Stubbs.
The board is comprised of more than 35 leaders from a variety of fields who will provide insight and counsel. Names include Bruin Capital chief executive George Pyne, Endeavor president Mark Shapiro, country artist Garth Brooks, entertainment mogul Steve Stoute, and Goldman Sachs executive Stacy Sonnenberg.
Advisory board members will also have the chance to mentor Big 12 student-athletes and get additional opportunities for ‘integration into the conference’s landscape.’ “The business advisory board will play a crucial role in creating the blueprint to growing our brand and business,” said Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark. “I appreciate each board member’s willingness to assist the Big 12 in crafting our business strategy. Every member brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the table, and I look forward to working with the entire board.”
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House of Highlights is giving four creators a chance to combine their fashion senses with their basketball allegiances. The online video destination, which exists under the umbrella of Bleacher Report, teamed up with the NBA to launch team-specific capsule collections devised by Noah Beck, Flight, FaZe Rug, and Kenny Beecham.
“House of Highlights is a singularly unique platform for creators, providing them with access to our network and audience along with the ability to tap into our League partners like the NBA for collaborations like this,” said House of Highlights VP Drew Muller. “The NBA empowered us to dream up a collection that puts the creators in the driver’s seat, leading the design process and deciding how to translate their personalities and fandom into official team merch that can authentically connect with fans.”
Apple and Major League Soccer will launch their dedicated soccer streaming service, MLS Season Pass, on February 1st, 2023. The service will cost $14.99 per month during the season or $99 for an entire season, and if you have an Apple TV Plus subscription, you can get it for cheaper at $12.99 per month or $79 per season.
With MLS Season Pass, you can watch every live regular season match, all of the playoffs, and the Leagues Cup with no blackouts. The service will also offer an “exclusive live match whip-around show” that sounds a lot like NFL’s RedZone. Apple’s blockbuster deal with the MLS runs for 10 years. To help promote the partnership, all 29 clubs in the MLS will have an Apple TV patch on their jerseys in a different color. ”
Colorado Rapids announce UCHealth as new jersey sponsor
The Colorado Rapids have announced a new partnership with UCHealth that will see the Colorado-based health system become the club's official jersey sponsor through the 2029 MLS season. As part of the partnership, UCHealth is launching Ready. Set. CO., a new, health-focused initiative to help restore Colorado as the healthiest state in the nation. “The Rapids are committed to being the heartbeat of sport in Colorado so we couldn’t be more excited to partner with a local organization like UCHealth who is not only invested in the well-being of our community, but who has also shown a long-standing support of Colorado sports,” Rapids executive VP & general manager Pádraig Smith said in a Monday release. “This announcement marks a significant day for our club, as the partnership will provide a foundation for both of our organizations to drive healthy living initiatives with our fans and our community. We look forward to having UCHealth be a part of the Rapids family for many years to come.”