Anthem Sports & Entertainment announced today, in a statement that you can read in full on their website here, that it has acquired “majority interest in AXS TV and HDNet Movies.” Here’s how Anthem began their announcement:
Anthem Sports &; Entertainment, a global multiplatform media company, today announced it has acquired a majority interest in HDNet LLC, parent of the widely distributed U.S. television networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies, and will assume operating management of the two popular channels that cater to music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle audiences. The deal also includes AXS TV’s extensive library of owned programming, including wrestling, MMA and entertainment content…
Joining as an investor is entertainer, producer and businessman Steve Harvey, who will also enter into a strategic agreement for content development and promotion of Anthem’s portfolio of channels. Steve Harvey Global will have a seat on the board of directors of Anthem.
Anthem now owns Impact Wrestling, Impact Plus, Fight Network, GameTV (which features game shows), Game+, Pursuit Channel, AXS TV, and HDNet Movies.
The wrestling world takeaway of all this is that the company that owns Impact Wrestling now owns the channel that airs WOW Women of Wrestling and that airs New Japan Pro Wrestling in the United States. Earlier this summer, Impact was reportedly in talks to air on AXS – an interesting move given that several female members of Impact’s roster also appear on that channel as part of the cast of WOW, most notably Tessa Blanchard.
It’s even stranger to see Impact and New Japan connected again, to a certain extent, given that the partnership between the two companies ended on bad terms years ago, allegedly at least in part because of how the company handled of Kazuchika Okada’s American excursion.
Could they now air on the same channel, possibly with AXS’s current Saturday night wrestling lineup of WOW and NJPW expanded to WOW, NJPW, and Impact? It’s possible, though Anthem also landed Impact its spot on Pursuit, another channel it owned, and that hasn’t gone very well. More importantly, which wrestling show will get that Steve Harvey cameo first?