Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban has sold a majority interest in HDNet, LLC., the parent company of AXS TV and HDNet Movies.
Though the financial terms of the deal weren’t publicly revealed, it seems likely that Cuban turned a sizable profit. The Dallas Mavericks owner co-founded AXS in 2001 (as HDNet; the name was changed in 2012), and over the last 18 years, he’s built the network into a relatively successful broadcaster of entertainment, live sports, and live music.
Anthem Sports and Entertainment, AXS’s buyer, is a Canadian broadcasting and production company. Anthem was founded in 2010 and has stakes in Impact Professional Wrestling, Fight Network, Game+, and other, similar assets. Comedian and Family Feud host Steve Harvey has invested in the deal and has been granted a seat on Anthem’s board of directors. It’s expected that Harvey will have a say in how AXS and HDNet Movies are managed and developed moving forward.
Cuban and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the world’s second-largest music-entertainment company (behind Live Nation), will continue as equity partners with Anthem, which will immediately take over the day-to-day operation of AXS and HDNet Movies.
The companies’ existing production facilities, in Los Angeles and Denver, respectively, will stay open.
AXS offers a variety of entertainment content, but its music-related programs have increased in quantity during the last five or so years. Carrie Underwood, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Willie Nelson, and Ringo Starr concert specials have broadcast on the channel.
With Cuban out of AXS TV, could That Metal Show find a home at the network? There are many what-ifs as Eddie Trunk says VH1 still owns the rights to the show. He stated when the show was canceled though that VH1 transferred the rights to him to shop around and find TMS a new home.