Sinclair, Silver Chalice, and 120 Sports To Launch New Multiplatform Sports Network; Will Relaunch ASN
The new network will leverage rights held by all three organizations; the existing ASN linear network will be rebranded
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Silver Chalice and 120 Sports are combining forces to launch a multiplatform sports network featuring both linear broadcast and digital offerings. The network will be built through the merging of 120 Sports’ live studio operations, Silver Chalice’s Campus Insiders’ live college-game coverage, and Sinclair’s American Sports Network’s (ASN) distribution and live college-game coverage. As part of the deal, the ASN linear network will be rebranded and is scheduled to relaunch later this year.
The overall programming offering will leverage the professional and college rights held by 120 Sports and Silver Chalice. In addition, the network will feature postgame highlights, news, and original, long-form programming, as well as full-game archives provided by various partners.
The existing linear network operated by ASN will be rebranded. The broadcast component of the new, unified network will immediately reach millions of homes on Sinclair-owned multicast channels, both over-the-air and, in turn, through carriage by multichannel video-programming distributors (MVPDs) when it launches later this year. Previously, rumors flew that Sinclair was going to shut down ASN entirely, but the network will now serve as the linear component of the overall multiplatform offering.
“With this incomparable set of strategic partners,” said Sinclair President/CEO Chris Ripley in a statement, “we are evolving ASN into a vastly improved network with access to exclusive content and a combined linear and premium OTT offering that is the model for the future of television.”
All three entities will serve as equity partners in the multiplatform network. The new offering combines the primary college-sports rights (as well as some pro-sports rights) currently carried on ASN and Campus Insiders with 120 Sports’ daily live-streaming programming, which integrates breaking news, fan response, and video highlights with social conversation and expert analysis. Silver Chalice and Campus Insiders are already equity partners in 120 Sports, along with MLBAM, the NHL, the PGA TOUR, Time Inc./Sports Illustrated, among others.