Like most subscription-based streaming services on the market, ESPN+ is looking to original content to drive membership to its subscription video on demand (SVOD) service.
To help with that effort, the network announced Monday that it is partnering on a new original series with Thirty Five Media, a digital media company co-founded by NBA superstar Kevin Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman. The six-part project, titled “The Boardroom,” will examine the ins and outs of sports business and “illuminate the world of sports far beyond what fans ordinarily see,” according to the two companies.
ESPN’s Jay Williams will host the series with Jordan Schultz serving as a correspondent. Durant and Kleiman, who serve as the show’s executive producers, will also be featured in the series. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“This is a particularly interesting time for the business of sports. Players are increasingly evolving from business endorsers to active participants, decision makers, and owners,” said Connor Schell, ESPN executive vice president, Content. “We are excited to collaborate with Kevin and Rich, who have both had a profound effect on the way that athletes interact with the business of sports and investment community.”
Launched in April, ESPN+ is ESPN’s answer to the growing number of consumers ditching their cable packages for more affordable alternatives. Since its launch, the $4.99 per month platform has been able to attract more than 1 million paying subscribers by offering a mix of original content and exclusive sports coverage.
In May, for example, the streamer inked a distribution deal with the UFC that would see 15 UFC events stream exclusively on its platform. Partnerships like have been important to the growth of the service, which does not offer premiere games coverage from the NFL and NBA.
Other live coverage found on the platform include MLB and NHL games, MLS out-of-market matches, live events from 20 college conferences, 20 PGA tour events, matches from three of the four Grand Slam Tennis tournaments, hundreds of Top Rank boxing matches, international cricket matches, nearly 200 Canadian Football League games, and approximately 200 English Football League matches.