THE SPORTS INDUSTRY has become increasingly complex and Commercial Sports Media is in the market to help extract values for rights holders from different market segments, including sport organizations or media companies.
Twenty years ago there were a dozen sports channels worldwide, whereas today you can scroll through your TV guide with many channels popping up on the screen. If you then add the sports content the consumer can find on smart phones, tablets or computers, it is clear that the demand for new business models, to protect and potentially increase media rights values, has never been stronger. Sport and the demand to watch it LIVE has never been more important to the media industry.
The partners at Commercial Sports Media have been through this huge development in sport broadcast and rights exploitation and offer a combination of investment banking skills together with more than 50 years collective experience in the sport rights industry. We believe this structure can add further value for rights holders and media companies.
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Commercial Sports Media (CSM) is the exclusive advisor on media rights for Swedish Hockey League (SHL). The company was appointed for the advisory role in early 2016 and this was the starting point for the sales process of the SHL media rights from the 2018/19 season and onwards.
CSM was awarded the task to keep adding to the progress and historically good work already put in by SHL to develop and market an already amazing product. CSM advised SHL on the timing of the process, the packaging of the SHL media property and the details of the tender document. CSM also advised SHL on the set of rules for the tender process as such. The investment bank Stella Advisors is a partner and a shareholder in CSM. In combination CSM and Stella Advisors bring a lot of experience to their clients when it comes to high profiled media transactions. As a result of the sales process of SHL media rights Swedish pay-TV operator CMore extended the rights for another six-year-term. In the years to come the free TV channel TV4 will extend their broadcast of live matches. TV4 is the main channel within Bonnier Broadcast.
Commercial Sports Media (CSM) has advised the US production giant NEP on its winning pitch to produce the WTA Tour in tennis in the five years to come. Starting in the 2017 season all media rights for the tour is owned by Perform Media Group as a ten-year-buyout deal from WTA.
Part of the new rights owners strategy is to have all matches on the tour produced for global distribution. Hence, it has been a very careful and time consuming process to plan all of the productions from all continents on the globe. NEP has proven to be the best supplier for this extensive project. CSM, through its partners, have a long background in planning and organizing the logistics around live broadcast of sporting events. Jonas Persson, CEO of CSM, has previously served as a board member at Mediatec, that was acquired by NEP in 2015.
CSM was advising on the first ever Nordic media rights deal between a domestic premium property and a Telecom operator. The agreement was reached in April, 2017, in which the premier Finnish Ice hockey league Liiga licensed its media rights to Telia Company in a six-year-arrangement starting with the 2018/19 season.
CSM was chosen by Liiga in December, 2016, as the exclusive media rights advisor. Initial presentations and meetings were held with potential buyers of the rights before year end in 2016. It was made clear at an early stage that there was strong interest in the property which is ranked as number one in the Finnish market. CSM successfully managed to include domestic as well as international media companies in the process. In March, 2017, Liiga and CSM had concluded the packaging of the rights and decided to go to market with a tender. Two rounds of bidding were run during a two-week-period. Apart from the license fee Liiga paid great attention to the exploitation and production plans presented by the media companies. Telia Company has major plans to include live content in its future offering and made an impressive work to demonstrate its devotion to develop Finnish ice hockey together with Liiga.
For three years now, CSM has worked with CMore and the SHL to distribute the international rights of the SHL around the world. Thus far, Sweden’s topflight ice hockey league can be viewed in over 12 markets.
Swedish ice hockey continues to go from strength to strength, with the national team winning the World Championships in May of this year. There has also never been so many Swedish players featuring in the NHL. In fact, Sweden is the biggest supplier of professional ice hockey players into the NHL outside of North America. As a result, the international interest in watching Swedish ice hockey continues to grow and CSM is determined to add new international markets to increase the overall viewership on the SHL. Production standards of this premium product is at the highest international level due to a massive investments made from both the SHL and its domestic broadcast partner CMore, a Bonnier owned company.