Why are you buying into the “internet of things” business?
ESPN Stats & Info Stats, the company that distributes ESPN content to all major television, radio and digital platforms, just raised $6.5 million in a Series A round led by private equity firm Wachtell, Lipton and Smith, according to sources familiar with the deal.
The round, led by the private equity firms, includes the option to raise additional funds up to $6 billion.
The company has a long history of acquiring new media companies in the past, with its first investment in the streaming service Netflix in 2009.
The $6 million round was led by Media One Capital Partners and DBL Investors, and was led mostly by private investors.
The Series A was led primarily by Wachtel, Liptons and Smith’s Digital Content and Digital TV unit.
ESPN’s streaming business is also in dire need of a reboot, as it is currently suffering from a major drop in subscribers and is struggling to make up lost ground with its live TV and sports offerings.
“As we have seen over the past year, we have become increasingly reliant on digital platforms to drive our content consumption and revenue growth,” said ESPN president and CEO David Jacoby in a statement announcing the investment.
“The internet of things (IoT) is poised to be the next evolution of the entertainment industry.
This is an important opportunity to help drive digital TV and media to unprecedented heights and accelerate our subscriber growth.
ESPN is committed to investing in new platforms that allow us to continue delivering innovative and engaging content to our audience.
We believe that IoT is poised for disruption, and the new investments from ESPN will help us achieve that success.”ESPN is currently in the midst of a $3.6 billion restructuring that includes the sale of its global TV, radio, and digital businesses, as well as the acquisition of the rights to broadcast baseball, women’s basketball and college football, among other sports.
ESPN previously announced plans to shutter the sports businesses and the rights for its own games.