Sports MCN The Whistle Buys The Lacrosse Network

/ Jun 4, 2014

The Whistle TLN

The Whistle, a sports digital media company and multi-channel network backed by several media and sports heavyweights, has acquired The Lacrosse Network.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Last month, The Whistle raised $10 million from a group of investors that included SeventySix Capital, ex-MLB president Bob DuPuy, ex-Nickelodeon and Disney cable president Gerry Laybourne, and Clear Channel topper Bob Pittman. The company has raised $18 million to date, with earlier investors including future football and baseball hall-of-famers Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter.

With the deal, The Whistle adds more than 210,000 subscribers to its YouTube network, which currently has 4.3 million subscribers across more than a hundred channel partners.

The MCN will have access to TLN’s live broadcasts of lacrosse games, documentaries, highlight clips, and library of original programming. The two entities will also work together to develop and promote content on their YouTube channels, as well as other digital platforms from their websites to mobile apps.

TLN’s founders and employees, including co-founders Samir Chaudry and Julien Berndt and creative director Colin Rosenblum, will become a part of The Whistle team. Chaudry will also keep his role as TLN president.

TLN’s studio in Los Angeles will add to The Whistle’s existing production facilities in New York and Dallas.

“We love what we’ve built and are building, and would not have done a deal like this if we were not convinced that it will be a great way to grow rapidly,” said Chaudry in a statement. “The Whistle is building an entirely new kind of cross-platform digital network and, with the support of pro leagues, is moving quick to scale across multiple sports. We look forward to integrating our team, our programming, and our expertise into their multi-million subscriber network.”

The Whistle’s pro-sports league partners include Major League Lacrosse (which I imagine opens up a world of collaborations for the TLN team), MLB Advanced Media, the NFL, PGA Tour, NASCAR, Major League Ultimate, and the US Ski and Snowboard Association.

The TLN deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions in the MCN space. So far this year, Disney has bought Maker Studios, AwesomenessTV has nabbed Big Frame, and an ever-changing list of media companies are circling around Fullscreen.

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