The Arena Group, which controls media brands like Sports Illustrated, Parade and TheStreet, has teamed with FAST channel developer AcTVe to launch five channels tied to action sports magazines in its stable.
Powder Mag, Surfer Magazine, Transworld Skateboarding, Bike Mag and Snowboarder will provide the backbones for the new channels, which will debut globally this fall. The channels will be available on free, ad-supported streaming platforms like SportsTribal, FreeMovies+ and FreeCast, as well as via Roku, Vizio and Samsung. More distribution platforms will be added in 2024, the companies said.
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Drawing on archival material spanning decades (Surfer Magazine, for example, dates to 1960), the channels will feature documentary features, shorts, original series and live events.
“As an action sports filmmaker, enthusiast and lifelong fan of these brands, it’s an honor to be in a position to make the kinds of content I grew up watching available to audiences for free, worldwide,” AcTVe CEO Geoff Clark said in an announcement. Clark’s company is handling distribution and syndication for the channels, which join the company’s growing portfolio of more than 15 other channels.
Arena Group CEO Ross Levinsohn said his company, which changed its name from Maven in 2021, is increasingly focused on FAST. The sector has experienced dramatic growth in the past couple of years as rates of cord-cutting keep accelerating and programmers look for ways to reach viewers and advertisers outside of the pay-TV bundle. Compared with ramping up a traditional cable network, lighting up a FAST channel is exponentially cheaper and requires fewer operational resources. “FAST channels will propel our strategic expansion into the highly lucrative and rapidly growing digital video and connected TV markets,” Levinsohn said. “We are excited to work with AcTVe to expand these enthusiast titles and serve their communities across the video streaming markets globally.”
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