Anthem Sports and Entertainment has purchased a majority interest in AXS TV. The channel is home to weekly New Japan Pro Wrestling shows and David McLane’s Women of Wrestling promotion. It is also set to become the new home of Impact Wrestling, another property of Anthem Sports and Entertainment.
Anthem CEO Leonard Asper spoke to Multi-Channel News about his company’s purchase. In terms of what was appealing about AXS TV, Asper says the company was looking for a channel with no geographic limits and could expand outside the United States.
“We’ve been looking for an acquisition for some time to grow and get scale, and do what everybody else in the media business is doing,” Asper said. “We looked for things that serve passionate communities, can transform to digital media companies and have no geographical limitations on them.”
Anthem Purchases AXS TV
Asper continued to talk about what led to the two sides discussing a possible purchase.
“We were talking about a content relationship with them based on some of the other things we do — wrestling and e-sports and fantasy sports — and that led to this deal,” Asper said. “There was no investment bank hired or a process at all. This was a discussion that came out of a relationship we were developing with them.”
In terms of what led Anthem to purchase Impact Wrestling in 2017, Asper says the large video catalogue the company has played a major role. He spoke further about his company’s strategy of purchasing content.
“That’s a very important part of our growth plan, owning content. We believe owning the content and putting it on our channels, but also having it on other people’s platforms as well. I call that untethered vertical integration.”
The full interview can be read here.