Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban has sold a majority interest in HDNet, LLC., the parent company AXS TV and HDNet Movies.
Though the financial terms the deal weren’t publicly revealed, it seems likely that Cuban turned a sizable prit. The Dallas Mavericks owner co-founded AXS in 2001 (as HDNet; the name was changed in 2012), and over the last 18 years, he’s built the network into a relatively successful broadcaster entertainment, live sports, and live music.
Anthem Sports and Entertainment, AXS’s buyer, is a Canadian broadcasting and production company. Anthem was founded in 2010 and has stakes in Impact Pressional Wrestling, Fight Network, Game, and other, similar assets. Comedian and Family Feud host Steve Harvey has invested in the deal and has been granted a seat on Anthem’s board directors. It’s expected that Harvey will have a say in how AXS and HDNet Movies are managed and developed moving forward.
Cuban and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the world’s second-largest music-entertainment company (behind ), will continue as equity partners with Anthem, which will immediately take over the day-to-day operation AXS and HDNet Movies.
The companies’ existing production facilities, in Los Angeles and Denver, respectively, will stay open.
AXS fers a variety entertainment content, but its music-related programs have increased in quantity during the last five or so years. Carrie Underwood, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Willie Nelson, and Ringo Starr concert specials have broadcast on the channel.
Plus, Coachella, Stagecoach, and other music festivals have been shown live on AXS, and original television programs like Rock and Roll Trip with Sammy Hagar, The Day the Rock Star Died, and Paul Shaffer Plus One provide fans with interviews, performances, and behind-the-scenes looks at some today’s—and yesterday’s—most popular artists.
Factoring in the many homes that receive AXS, Anthem’s networks now reach about 110 million viewers in the United States and Canada and close to 160 million viewers around the globe.
In a statement, Mark Cuban said that Anthem Sports and Entertainment is “an ideal partner to take AXS TV and HDNet Movies to their next levels,” and “we are looking forward to seeing the results we will collectively generate for this new partnership.”
Steve Harvey indicated that he’ll become involved with producing original content for AXS, but at the time writing, a formal agreement hadn’t yet been announced.