Endeavor, the holding company formerly known as WME-IMG, will acquire the online video company NeuLion for $250 million in cash. NeuLion will become a privately held subsidiary of Endeavor.
The two companies have previously worked together providing online video of sporting events. Some viewers who had paid to watch a high-profile boxing match reported problems accessing the coverage. The deal will effectively bring the NeuLion Digital Platform in house.
Endeavor is a privately held company comprised of a number of businesses including WME, IMG and UFC, operating in the sports, entertainment and fashion sectors. The Endeavor network specializes in representing talent, marketing, sponsoring and licensing brands, media sales and distribution, event operation and management, and sports training and league development.
Endeavor was formed from WME-IMG, which resulted from the combination of the William Morris Agency and International Management Group. The William Morris Agency dated back to 1898 and included stars like Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe as clients. WME-IMG acquired the rights to Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2016 for a reported $4 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement with NeuLion, Endeavor will acquire each share of outstanding common stock of NeuLion for USD $0.84, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. “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, the president and chief executive of NeuLion.
“Through our content portfolio, client base, and broader network of rights holders we’ve encountered many different platforms for distributing and monetizing content,” said Ariel Emanuel, the chief executive of Endeavor. “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.”
NeuLion, Inc., based in Plainview, New York, provides online video technologies to deliver live and on-demand programming to different devices. Its customers include the NFL, NBA, UFC, EFL, Euroleague, World Surf League, Univision, Sky Sports, and Eleven Sports Network. NeuLion also includes the MainConcept encoding technology business.
The acquisition of NeuLion will give Endeavor control of an online video platform to enable it to distribute direct to consumers.
Disney paid nearly $2.6 billion to acquire a majority stake in the online video technology company BAMTech, which was previously spun out of Major League Baseball Advanced Media. It will use the platform to launch an online sports service later in 2018.