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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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More Sports Are Streaming, LionTree Bets Ad Dollars Will Follow

  • Live-streaming ad-tech firm Transmit gets growth investment from LionTree.
  • Transmit's technology already utilized by Paramount, Univision and the NHL.

The days of only being able to watch sports on network and cable TV are over.

Google and Amazon each have exclusive NFL rights, Apple TV+ has every MLS match for the next 10 years, and the NBA will likely get a multibillion-dollar haul from a streamer in its next media rights negotiations.

As one of the last bastions of appointment viewing, live sports have a built-in, diehard audience advertisers can count on.

Live-streaming ad tech firm Transmit is at the forefront of this shift, and now they have one of the world’s biggest financial institutions backing them.

An investor group led by a fund managed by LionTree, in partnership with existing Transmit investor SC Holdings, has made a majority growth investment in the company, valuing it at $350 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Transmit — which counts Paramount, Univision, YES Network and the NHL among its customers and has worked with Comcast, Nike, and AT&T to leverage live sports — will use the funds to enhance its tech and expand globally. 

Everyone’s Adding Ads

Streaming’s heavy hitters are finally embracing ads.

In 2022, Disney+ introduced an ad-supported tier, plus a bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu with ads. It also collected a record $9 billion in upfront ad purchases, with 40% of that sum going to streaming and digital advertising.

  • In November, Netflix debuted an ad-supported tier for $6.99.
  • Peacock has had an ad-supported option since the service launched in 2020.
  • Paramount+ and HBO Max offer ad-supported tiers, as well. 

The Transmit deal marks another major sports-adjacent investment for LionTree.

In December, the bank participated in a $700 million round for Fanatics that valued the digital sports platform and retail heavyweight at $31 billion.

Editor’s Note: SC Holdings is an investor in Front Office Sports.

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