Anthem Sports & Entertainment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc.
Company typePrivate
IndustryMass media
FoundedDecember 2010; 13 years ago (2010-12)
FounderLeonard Asper
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Area served
United States, Canada and Europe
Key people
Leonard Asper
(President/Chief executive officer)
Ed Nordholm
(Chief corporate officer)
Television Production
Digital media
Live event promotion
Production output
Sports programming combo
OwnersSygnus Corp. (72.95%)
Fight Holdings Inc. (25.62%)

Anthem Sports & Entertainment (formerly Anthem Media Group) is a Canadian multinational media company based in Toronto, Ontario and founded by Leonard Asper.

Anthem is majority-controlled by Asper via his Sygnus Corporation. Fight Holdings, Inc. holds the remaining ownership stake, via the investors Mayhem Capital (59.01%), North American Bond Company (7.19%), Goldfarb Management Services (7.19%), and Slaight Communications (7.19%).[1]



Anthem Media Group was founded in December 2010 by former Canwest president Leonard Asper, through his acquisition of a majority stake in Fight Network.[2]

On January 10, 2013, Anthem purchased an equity stake in the U.S-based Pursuit Channel.[3] In August 2013, the company would acquire My Combat Channel.[4]

In August 2013, Anthem acquired the fantasy sports websites RotoExperts and SportsGrid, as part of efforts to launch a dedicated fantasy sports-oriented channel.[5][6] The following year, FNTSY Sports Network launched in March 2014.[6] In January 2015, Anthem acquired the daily fantasy sports website,[7] and relaunched the site as DailyRoto.[8]

Anthem Media Group was renamed to Anthem Sports & Entertainment in May 2015.[1] In August 2016, Anthem announced its intent to acquire the Canadian specialty channel GameTV, pending CRTC approval.[9]

TNA investment and acquisition[edit]

In October 2016, Anthem invested in the professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Fight Network was its Canadian broadcast partner, and Anthem would loan the company money throughout 2016.[10] On January 4, 2017, Anthem acquired a majority stake in TNA, forming the subsidiary Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions;[11] the promotion would then rebrand as Impact Wrestling, after its flagship weekly program Impact!. Impact founder Jeff Jarrett rejoined the promotion as chief creative director and, during tapings for the April 20, 2017 episode of Impact, it was announced that Impact Wrestling would merge with Jarrett's own Global Force Wrestling (GFW) promotion under the "GFW" name.[12] Anthem later announced its intent to formally acquire GFW's assets,[13] but by October 23, 2017, Anthem had cut its ties with Jarrett and Global Force.[14][15]

In October 2017, Anthem launched the Global Wrestling Network, a streaming service featuring archive content from Impact as well as other independent promotions.[16] On June 26, 2018, it was announced that Peter Einstein would become the new Chief Operating Officer of Anthem.[17]

On August 14, 2018, Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Entertainment filed a lawsuit against Anthem in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for copyright infringement over the rights to GFW content, as Jarrett owned all Global Force Wrestling properties since its creation in 2014.[18][19] A mistrial was declared after a 2020 trial but Jarrett and Anthem settled the case in January 2021.[20]

In 2023, Anthem decided to rebrand Impact Wrestling back to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling which officially happened on January 13, 2024, at Hard To Kill.[21] On February 7, 2024, it was announced that TNA President Scott D'amore had been replaced by Anthem Sports President of Entertainment, Anthony Cicione.[22]

International expansion[edit]

On September 9, 2019, Anthem announced that it had acquired a majority stake in the U.S. cable networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies, with existing stakeholders Mark Cuban and Anschutz Entertainment Group maintaining equity stakes.[23][24]

On April 13, 2021, Anthem acquired the women's mixed martial arts promotion Invicta Fighting Championships.[25]

On November 16, 2021, Anthem acquired Cleveland-based film distributor Gravitas Ventures from Red Arrow Studios, the content production and distribution arm of German company ProSiebenSat.1 Media, for US$73 million in a cash-and-stock deal. The company stated that it planned to use its library across its linear television properties, as well as future free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) businesses.[26][27]

In June 2022, Anthem announced that it would launch AXS TV Now and Fight Network channels on Xumo.[28]






Other assets[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Anthem Digital Specialty Services" (PDF). Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. January 6, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "Leonard Asper Joins The Fight Network as CEO - Fight Network". Archived from the original on 2014-09-27. Retrieved 2014-07-26.
  3. ^ "Pursuit Channel Welcomes Anthem Media Group". OutdoorHub. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  4. ^ Anthem Media Group Acquires U.S.-Based My Combat Channel Archived 2014-03-28 at the Wayback Machine Fight Network 2013-08-22
  5. ^ "Anthem Media Group Acquires RotoExperts And SportsGrid". 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  6. ^ a b Fantasy Sports Network Looks To Become a Reality In March 2013-12-03
  7. ^ "Anthem Media Acquires, A Sprawling Daily Fantasy Community". 14 January 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Anthem Media Announces Launch Of". Archived from the original on 2019-04-17. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  9. ^ "Anthem Sports and Entertainment Acquires GameTV". Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  10. ^ Rau, Nate (June 30, 2017). "TNA wrestling rebrands as GFW, eyes global expansion". The Tennessean. Nashville. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Anthem Acquires Majority Interest in TNA Impact Wrestling". Multichannel. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  12. ^ McMahon, Mike (April 20, 2017). "McMahon's Impact report 4/20: Lashley vs. Storm for the Impact Title, ODB vs. Rosemary, X-Division six-man title match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "Impact officially announces acquisition of Global Force". Cageside Seats. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  14. ^ Currier, Joseph (October 23, 2017). "Jeff Jarrett Officially Gone From Impact Wrestling". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  15. ^ Satin, Ryan (January 5, 2017). "Jeff Jarrett Returning to TNA as Executive Consultant, 'It's Great For the Wrestling Business'". Pro Wrestling Sheet | Insider Wrestling News and Reports. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "Anthem's Global Wrestling Network is here". Cageside Seats (SB Nation). Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  17. ^ Johnson, Mike (June 26, 2018). "NEW CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER FOR ANTHEM SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT". Pwinsider. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  18. ^ Johnson, Mike (August 14, 2018). "JEFF JARRETT & GFW SUE IMPACT WRESTLING PARENT COMPANY". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  19. ^ "Jeff Jarrett And Global Force Sue Impact Wrestling And Anthem - Fightful Wrestling". Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  20. ^ Valdés, Apolo (January 13, 2021). "Jeff Jarrett y Anthem Sports llegaron a un acuerdo por GFW". Súper Luchas (in Spanish). Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  21. ^ Siino, John (2023-10-21). "IMPACT Bound for Glory Results: TNA Is Back, Shelley vs. Alexander, Ospreay vs. Speedball". POST Wrestling. Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  22. ^ "Anthony Cicione Named President of TNA Wrestling". Anthem Sports & Entertainment. 2024-02-07. Retrieved 2024-02-07.
  23. ^ Farrell, Mike. "Anthem Sports Buys Majority Stake in AXS TV". Multichannel. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  24. ^ "Mark Cuban Sells Majority Stake in AXS TV, HDNet Movies to Steve Harvey, Anthem Sports". The Hollywood Reporter. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  25. ^ "Invicta FC sold to Anthem Sports & Entertainment, events to air on AXS TV". MMA Junkie. 2021-04-15. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
  26. ^ Weprin, Alex (2021-11-16). "Gravitas Ventures Sold to Anthem Sports & Entertainment for $73M". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  27. ^ "Cleveland film distributor Gravitas Ventures is sold in $73 million deal". Crain's Cleveland Business. 2021-11-16. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  28. ^ Lafayette, Jon (2022-06-09). "Anthem Launching Two Streaming Channels on Xumo's Platform". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  29. ^ "Anthem Sports & Entertainment | WHO WE ARE". Archived from the original on 2019-01-15. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  30. ^ Sportsgrid (September 1, 2021). "SportsGrid Multicast Network Launches Today in Nine Major Markets Across the United States". Retrieved October 31, 2021.

External links[edit]