Thursday January 16,2014 : U.S. LAUNCH PLANNED FOR FANTASY SPORTS TELEVISION NETWORK
March 4 the kick-off date for 24/7 channel
Anthem Media Group, Inc., an operator of television channels on linear, digital and mobile platforms, has announced the scheduled launch on March 4 this year of what it claims is the first ever 24-hour Fantasy Sports TV Network.
The Fantasy Sports Network will begin serving its content on traditional, "over the top," online and mobile video platforms throughout North America, offering interactive fantasy sports programming for a wide range of sports enthusiasts in a linear stream, as a video-on-demand service and as an application.
Fantasy Sports Network will be the first TV network to have live studio programming, call in shows, panels, celebrity and expert drafts, reality programming, and on site commentary from sports venues, all specifically targeted towards the estimated 40 million people who play fantasy sports annually and on a daily basis, a company statement claimed Thursday.
The channel will engage and involve the fantasy sports community, delivering analytical, informational and breaking news needs in an entertaining environment.
"This project has been two years in the making, and we are thrilled that it has finally all come together," said Leonard Asper, president and CEO of Anthem.
"We are combining the television experience of the Anthem team with the fantasy sports expertise of Anthem's Rotoexperts.com, and major partnerships across the industry, to form a unique, compelling and relevant offering for our audience."
Chad Midgley, VP ontent at Anthem, added that through an aggregation of quality fantasy content and personalities in the industry, the Fantasy Sports Network will engage fantasy sports participants and consumers with industry experts, athletes, celebrity personalities and in general be the destination channel for the world of fantasy sports.
In addition to a daily flagship studio program, Anthem has secured an agreement with SiriusXM Radio to simulcast three daily hours of the popular morning drive-time "RotoExperts in the Morning" program from 6-9 a.m. on the new network.
Regarded as a top showcase for fantasy sports information and entertainment in the industry, the morning drive programming on the SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio Channel has aired since the channel's launch on July 1, 2010 and is hosted by a stable of notable industry experts.
Anthem programming partners include Jon Klein, former President of CNN US and Jeff Gaspin, former Chairman of NBC Universal Television, and the company previously announced that NFL Hall of Famer Chris Doleman has also joined the Anthem group as Executive Vice President of business development.
Anthem Media Group, Inc. has offices and studios in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles. The company published the latest industry statistics on Fantasy Sports, which make for interesting reading:
• 40 million players (assumes 20 percent growth from 2012 statistics estimating 36 million)
• $5 billion industry
• Average players spends 9 hours per week
• Average income $90,000
• Average player spends close to $500 per year
• Average age 32-34
• 78 percent have college degrees
• Average number of leagues 3.4
• 75 percent male, 25 percent female
• 77 percent football, with other interests including baseball, auto racing, basketball, college football, hockey, golf, soccer.
• Almost 50 percent of fantasy sports players visit 4 or 5 websites for relevant data
• 30 percent used a mobile device to play fantasy sports
• The Unlawful Internet Gaming Act of 2006 specifically exempted fantasy sports, making it a legal online betting activity.