Backed by Big-Name Athletes, PlayersTV Lands ‘Seven-Figure’ Deal to Fuel Expansion

PlayersTV, the TV streaming division of Dallas-based sports media and entertainment firm Players Media Group, landed the investment from ReachTV, which has been distributing it since 2020. Now its presence on ReachTV's network could put PlayersTV on 2,500+ airport screens and in 1 million hotel rooms.

If you haven’t heard of PlayersTV, there’s a chance you’ll know the name if you’re passing through an airport or spending the night at a hotel.

After inking a distribution agreement with ReachTV in 2020, the TV streaming division of Dallas sports-focused media and entertainment firm Players Media Group appeared on numerous airport screens. Now PlayersTV has landed a “seven-figure investment from the same company that could see its presence on ReachTV’s network expand to more than 2,500 airport screens and 1 million hotel rooms, Deadline reports.

“This is about Black-run media companies building a bigger table, recognizing the intrinsic value they bring one another, and forgoing competition for collaboration and growth,” said Lynnwood Bibbens, ReachTV founder and CEO, in a statement.

Valued at $20 million in 2020

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to CNBC, Players Media Group was valued at around $20 million as of April 2020.

Along with the extended reach the deal provides, more could be on the way. ReachTV and PlayersTV’s partnership will focus on the U.S. market, while serving as a “pilot program” for a possible global expansion. Overall, the partnership is expected to generate around $20 million in revenue annually.

“(It has) always been my vision to make smart growth decisions for our athletes and partners,” said Deron Guidrey, PlayersTV co-founder, in a statement.

A lineup of ‘sports lifestyle’ programming

With a lineup of “sports lifestyle” programming, including its ‘Shark Tank’-style show ‘Front Office,’ PlayersTV has been steadily growing since it launched in March 2020 on Samsung TV Plus. It followed that up last year, adding Rakuten TV, YouTube TV, Philo, and Local Now as distribution partners and extending its reach to more than 280 million households.

Players Media Group, which includes the virtual training vertical ProClass, was formed in 2018 by Collin Castellaw and Guidrey. The founders had previously led PreGame Media, an organization aimed at helping sports influencers monetize their personal brands, where the inspiration for Players Media Group came about as a way to centralize the ecosystem and make it easier for athletes to monetize content and reach more fans.

Attracting Chris Paul,  Carmelo Anthony, Ken Griffey Jr. and more

Since its launch, Players Media Group has attracted a number of big-name individual investors from the sports world, including names like Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Ken Griffey Jr., along with organizations like ClutchPoints and Anthem Sports & Entertainment—the latter of which includes Mark Cuban as a shareholder, after it acquired ASX TV in 2019.

“In today’s world, the desire to not only connect directly with athletes, but also learn about their lives off the field of play continues to grow exponentially,” Guidrey said at the time PlayersTV was announced. “But it hasn’t always been easy getting great athlete content into the hands of fans. Through PlayersTV, we’ve created a distribution ecosystem that brings fans and athletes together in one place.”

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