NBA, MLB, Others Partner With Time Inc. on Digital Sports Network2/21/2014 8:02 AM Eastern
Time Inc. is launching a new digital sports network with help from three of the "big four" professional sports leagues.
The NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball—along with NASCAR and Campus Insiders—have partnered with Time Inc. on 120 Sports, a live-streaming digital offering that will be available across all platforms and mobile devices.
120 Sports will not require authentication from a users' pay-TV provider, and will feature original and hosted programming, including game footage, analysis, conversation and social commentary from the players, newsmakers as well as voices of the fans. The content will be delivered in two-minute segments.
The digital network is expected to launch sometime this spring.
MLB Advanced Media will provide the technology infrastructure and mobile app development; MLBAM does the same for similar digital networks such as ESPN's ESPN3 channel.
Chicago-based digital sports media company Silver Chalice will oversee production and business operations. 120 Sports production and talent will originate from Chicago on the campus of Harpo Studios. Silver Chalice and Time Inc.-owned Sports Illustrated's national sales organizations will lead all sales and marketing, while Sports Illustrated and Time Inc. also will provide operational and business development support.
120 Sports will debut as a free native applications for mobile and tablet devices as well as the web at 120Sports.com and other distribution outlets. A premium content offering will be introduced next year.
"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 Bob Bowman, president & CEO, MLB Advanced Media. "Building a venture of this magnitude could only succeed with the right group of sports and news organizations and in the 120 Sports launch partners we have a product that will deliver on its promise to fans."
The sports network space has been exploding in recent years, with NBC, CBS and Fox rebranding channels into 24-hour cable networks in an attempt to compete with the longtime leader in the space ESPN. Each of the major four professional sports leagues has their own channel as well.
Now it seems that battle is spilling over into the digital space.
Last month, the NFL announced it was launching its own personalized digital network, NFL Now.