SBD/March 21, 2012/Media

Guber, Tollin Launching Mandalay Sports Media To Develop TV, Broadband Programming

Guber and Tollin plan to also be active with broadband and mobile sports content
Warriors co-Owner Peter Guber and Hollywood producer/director Mike Tollin (“Arli$$”) are launching a sports media business today that will invest in and develop programming for TV, broadband and mobile platforms. The company, Mandalay Sports Media, is a partnership between Tollin and Mandalay Entertainment Group, of which Guber is Chair & CEO. CAA is a founding partner in the company. “There’s an increasing number of platforms that need programming,” Guber said. “We want to be front-of-mind for people who want to be in sports media. We want to be on a short list of companies they want to talk to.” Tollin will oversee the day-to-day operations of the new company. Former NASCAR exec Dick Glover will sit on its board. Mandalay Sports Media “has identified our first hire,” said Tollin. “We’re slowly building out.” In a news release that is due out later today, ESPN President John Skipper is quoted as saying, "Mike and Peter are exceptional producers who have been valuable collaborators with ESPN and ESPN Films. We look forward to continuing that relationship and exploring new ideas with them going forward." The group already has projects in development with ESPN, Turner Sports, New Line Cinema and Incognito Pictures. Tollin would not discuss specific projects, but said he is looking into doing an international soccer-themed show that explores the role sports play in society. “We’re going to be a lightning rod because we have the resources and the resourcefulness in all the different media that sports touches,” Guber said. “We also expect to be a beacon and be in non-adversarial relationships with other distributors and other advertisers.”

TRYING TO CREATE A NICHE: The new group plans to create, finance and acquire operating businesses in the sports media market. “We’re trying to create a niche that maybe doesn’t exist yet,” said Tollin. Tollin and Guber saw an opportunity with the amount of sports TV networks that have launched recently, from RSNs to league- and conference-owned networks. Plus, the duo plans to be active with broadband and mobile sports content, too. Tollin said the new company is the result of a longstanding relationship he has with Guber. “We’re both content guys, and we both have a not-so secret passion for sports.” he said. “For content guys like us, this is a dream come true.” Tollin’s sports credentials include films like “Varsity Blues” and documentaries like “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream” and the ESPN "30 for 30" film “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?,” as well as mini-series like “The Bronx Is Burning.” He is the executive producer of Showtime's MLB series “The Franchise.”
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