TV Azteca Invests in Allied Esports, Black Ridge Acquisition

TV Azteca, a Grupo Salinas company and sports television network in Mexico, and Black Ridge Acquisition, a public acquisition vehicle, have entered into a term sheet which would provide for TV Azteca to become a shareholder of Allied Esports, a global esports entertainment company, through an equity investment in Black Ridge Acquisition Corp.

As previously announced, Allied Esports and its sister company, the World Poker Tour, both currently owned by Ourgame International Holdings Limited, will be acquired, once all applicable shareholder and regulatory consents have been obtained, by Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. to form Allied Esports Entertainment (the “Business Combination”).

Highlights from the term sheet include:

  • TV Azteca acquiring $5 million in shares of Black Ridge Acquisition Corp.
  • TV Azteca and Allied Esports creating a 24-hour digital esports channel dedicated to esports and video gaming for the Mexican market
  • TV Azteca and Allied Esports developing a network of esports talent across Mexico and Latin America.
  • TV Azteca and Allied Esports building a flagship esports venue and additional esports and content facilities in the Mexican market
  • TV Azteca and Allied Esports producing and distributing co-branded esports programming in the market
  • Allied Esports developing a localized online esports tournament platform for the market.

The obligations of the parties to move forward with the transactions contemplated by the term sheet are subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including but not limited to TV Azteca completing due diligence by June 27, 2019, the execution of definitive agreements between the parties documenting the obligations of TV Azteca to purchase the shares of Black Ridge and consummation of the Business Combination.

The relationship is expected to establish Allied Esports’ emergence in the Mexican market with a multiplatform approach designed to reach current esports fans and new consumers through TV Azteca’s extensive network.

“Continuing to expand our footprint around the world with like-minded leaders and innovators is imperative to our success, and we are delighted to partner with TV Azteca as we enter Latin America with a smart, aggressive plan,” said Frank Ng, co-CEO of Ourgame, owner of Allied Esports. “The Mexican and Latin American market presents incredible potential, and this partnership, featuring two first-movers in esports, entertainment, and distribution, is a winning combination.”

“We are enthusiastic about our investment in Allied Esports and the prospect of joining forces to become the clear leader in the delivery of esports entertainment in the region,” added Benjamin Salinas, CEO, TV Azteca. “This relationship represents a transformational step for TV Azteca and for the millions of members of the esports community in Latin America.”

TV Azteca and Allied Esports will work towards developing Mexico’s first 24-hour digital channel dedicated to esports and video game culture. The companies intend to also work together to create and build a network of esports talent, with expertise across all game genres and titles and with experience in additional forms of entertainment.

The parties intend to collaborate on the design and buildout of a dedicated esports venue, with a concept similar to HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, that will be designated as a flagship arena for their growing esports footprint in Mexico. The companies also expect to develop additional regional properties for events and content production. The co-branded flagship and regional venues would join the Allied Esports Property Network, the first global affiliate program launched by Allied Esports in 2018.

TV Azteca and Allied Esports also intend to continue to expand their co-produced esports experiences, content and distribution partnership that was previously announced in May 2019 with the launch of the original series Nation vs. Nation. The live event and stream, which took place at Foro Totalplay in Mexico City on May 14 and was Allied Esports’ first event and broadcast production in Latin America, featured 40 competitors in a USA vs. Mexico format playing PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. The event broadcast in Mexico reached over 2 million consumers in the market.

“Following an exceptional test case with NATION VS NATION, we are confident in our combined ability to truly launch esports in Mexico and Latin America at the highest level,” said Rodolfo Ramírez, head, TV Azteca Sports. “We are committed to the success and growth of this partnership, and believe this endeavor has the opportunity to be our most popular entertainment platform yet.”

Allied Esports intends to also work with TV Azteca to create a localized version of its proprietary global online esports platform, which was announced in December 2018 and is currently under development. The platform will focus on offering online products, including subscriptions, matching services, educational experiences, and games.

Following a strategic agreement with Allied Esports’ sister company, the World Poker Tour, which was signed in March 2019, social gaming and the mass broadcast of WPT poker content will begin this summer on TV Azteca platforms. The multiyear agreement will also bring WPT’s poker content library, premier poker events, and exclusive products and merchandise to the Latin America audience, which will be promoted via TV Azteca’s multimedia network and other Grupo Salinas companies.

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