SBD/February 20, 2014/Media

Pro Leagues Collaborate With Time Inc., Campus Insiders For New 120 Sports Venture

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Several major sports properties, Time Inc., and Campus Insiders announced a significant digital joint venture called 120 Sports. Representing an unprecedented collaboration between leagues, the 24-hour digital network will involve MLBAM, the NHL, NBA, NASCAR, as well as Time Inc. and the Campus Insiders partnership between IMG College and Silver Chalice. The concept around 120 Sports is providing video content in two-minute segments, involving highlights, analysis, social commentary, and other material. MLBAM will handle the technical components of 120 Sports, while Silver Chalice will oversee production and business operations. Silver Chalice has built a new custom studio in Chicago within the campus of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios. Time Inc. and Silver Chalice will lead ad sales for the new venture. The service will debut later this spring, free to consumers, with a premium-level offering planned for '15. "This is the right time to collaborate across the infrastructure of sports properties as we take the collective assets of each partner directly to fans on their favorite devices," said MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman. "Building a venture of this magnitude could only succeed with the right group of sports and news organizations."

VIDEO PLAYER AVAILABLE AT MULTIPLE OUTLETS: The 120 Sports video player will be available from 120Sports.com, MLB.com, NHL.com and SI.com, as well as through numerous other connected devices including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Time Inc., the NHL, MLBAM and White Sox-owned Silver Chalice will be equity investors in the effort, with their financial contributions not disclosed. The NBA has reserved the right to invest at a later date. The NFL, notably, is not involved. It instead is prepping its own over-the-top video network debuting this summer, NFL Now. Meanwhile, Time's participation is a major win for the SI brand as it competes against several larger digital-media rivals. "This is a very ambitious enterprise for Time Inc., and one of many we hope to invest in as part of our plan to turn our brands into cross-platform powerhouses," Time Inc. Exec VP Todd Larsen said in a company memo.
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