Mark Cuban Sells Majority Stake in AXS TV, HDNet Movies to Steve Harvey, Anthem Sports

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Mark Cuban

Selling a controlling stake has Cuban in a new partnership with Anschutz Entertainment Group, Harvey and a Canadian-based media player.

Mark Cuban has sold a majority stake in HDNet, parent of U.S. TV networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies, to Canadian-based Anthem Sports & Entertainment and entertainer Steve Harvey.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Anthem Sports, led by CEO Leonard Asper, a former head of Canadian broadcaster CanWest Global Communications Corp., will take over management of the TV networks offering music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle content.

As an investor, Harvey is also striking a strategic agreement for content development and promotion of Anthem’s portfolio of channels. Cuban and AEG will continue as equity partners in the new partnership, while AEG Global Partnerships, AEG’s advertising and sponsorship sales unit, will continue to support the channels alongside Anthem’s sales team.

The deal includes AXS TV’s library of wrestling, MMA and entertainment content, which will mesh with Anthem Sports stable of combat sport offerings like Fight Network and Impact Wrestling.

"We are very excited to add these two successful channels to our portfolio,” said Asper said in a statement. Anthem has offices and studios in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and Nashville, as well as in Europe.

Cuban in his own statement said Anthem, with its international footprint, offers "an ideal partner to take AXS TV and HDNet Movies to their next levels."

Added Steve Harvey about Anthem: “They have incredible shows, experiential entertainment, and a huge reach. We look forward to collaborating with Anthem on content development that will surprise and delight this newly expanded audience.” "

AXS TV and HDNet Movies will continue operating facilities in Denver and L.A., and will be integrated with a production center in Toronto and production facilities in Nashville and Europe.

AXS TV was originally founded as HDNET by Cuban in 2001 and was rebranded in 2012 after partnering with AEG. The network is distributed to more than 50 million homes.

HDNet Movies is available in around 12 million U.S. homes.