THE CHERNIN GROUP FORMS ‘THE ACTION NETWORK’ – A SPORTS MEDIA NETWORK DELIVERING PREMIUM CONTENT & ANALYTICS TO THE INVESTED SPORTS FAN
Influential Sports Journalist and Personality Chad Millman Joins The Action Network as Head of Media
The Action Network Created via a TCG Led Roll Up of Leading Sports Analysis Companies: Sports Insights, FantasyLabs and SportsAction
LOS ANGELES, CA – October 2, 2017 – The Chernin Group (TCG) has formed The Action Network, a premium sports analysis and media company that will cater to the $170 billion+ underserved sports wagering and fantasy markets. The Action Network acquired and now comprises the leading sports data and analysis companies Sports Insights, FantasyLabs and SportsAction.
Veteran sports media executive Chad Millman has joined the new venture from ESPN to serve as Head of Media.
TCG is also making a primary capital investment into The Action Network to build out the management team and brand as it aims to offer an all-encompassing subscription and editorial platform for those who speculate on sports and fantasy players of all types. The announcement was made today by Mike Kerns, TCG’s President of Digital.
Identifying a significant opportunity in the exploding speculation and analytics market, The Action Network will create a unique brand that mixes analysis, tools and entertainment to appeal to the massive audience of sports fans who watch games with something at stake as well as those who just want to be in the know. Its foundation will be built on the three newly acquired properties:
- Sports Insights, a leading provider of sports information and betting services, including sports betting software, public betting trends, and live odds. Founded in 1999 by Daniel Fabrizio, Sports Insights pioneered the use of public betting trends data at sportsbooks to unlock value in the sports betting marketplace.
- FantasyLabs provides daily fantasy sports players with proprietary data and tools to test theories, quickly create and backtest models, and ultimately, construct profitable daily fantasy sports lineups. The company was founded by Daniel Fabrizio, Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings, Kevin Cassata and Michael Bernhardt and includes Mark Cuban as an investor.
- SportsAction, a native app platform offering real-time scores, odds and picks tracking, with information and analysis targeting both casual and very engaged sports bettors. SportsAction was co-founded by Brian Mead and Kerns, and was incubated with TCG.
Employees of the companies will join The Action Network, and the founders will continue to play key roles in product management and editorial leadership. To elevate its offerings of superior sports data and analytics with premium content including video, podcasts and written pieces, Millman, former Editor-in-Chief of ESPN The Magazine and most recently Editorial Director of ESPN Domestic Digital Content, joins the team effective immediately. As Head of Media, Millman, who created the gambling beat at ESPN, will oversee The Action Network’s content strategy.
“The list for this leadership role had one name, Chad Millman. His experience launching new media brands, passion and expertise in the wagering media business, and network within the media industry is unmatched. We could not have joined forces with a better executive to lead the content endeavors of our new venture,” said Kerns. “This market is immensely valuable and growing by the day, yet there is a real lack of professionalized resources and infrastructure. Now with The Action Network, we have an opportunity to couple superior technology, data, and analytics tools with informative and entertaining premium content to offer a user-friendly platform that super-serves today’s sports speculators.”
Said Mark Cuban, “My investment in FantasyLabs was a bet on the future of how people consume sports – with something at stake. The company’s acquisition by The Chernin Group and the creation of The Action Network reaffirm that this market is underserved. I’m thrilled to be involved with a company poised to become the leader in the rapidly growing industry of sports speculation, analytics and media.”
Millman added, “It has been impossible not to be enthusiastic about the vision Mike has laid out during our many conversations and the opportunity to work with the founders of these companies. I’ve long believed in the power of the conversation that flows from betting and fantasy, because those are the prisms through which so many fans watch sports. And that audience is only going to grow. This is a total thrill.”
Millman joins The Action Network from ESPN, where he was the former VP, Editorial Director for ESPN Domestic Digital Content. Prior to that he served as editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, during which time the magazine was honored with numerous awards for storytelling, design and photography. During his 16-year tenure at ESPN he was a regular contributor to many of the network’s television programs, launched the popular podcast Behind The Bets, wrote weekly columns and created the gambling beat. Millman has also written or co-authored seven books, including the bestselling The Odds, about a trio of Vegas bookmakers and professional gamblers.
In May, 2018 The Action Network announced that veteran media executives Noah Szubski and Matt Restivo have joined the company as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Product Officer, respectively.
Szubski, who joins The Action Network from MailOnline (DailyMail), will oversee and advance the company’s rapidly growing platform as well as manage and grow its high-profile team.
Restivo joins the company from BAMTECH Media where he was most recently the General Manager of ESPN+. He is charged with building consumer experiences across all digital platforms, as well as managing and growing the subscription business.
Szubski stated, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining The Action Network, bringing my expertise in digital products, audience growth and content distribution. The opportunity to work with and lead such an immensely talented and hardworking team is very exciting, as no one is better positioned in the market to give sports fans, and those who have something at stake with the game, the experience and insight they’ve been looking for.”
ABOUT THE CHERNIN GROUP
The Chernin Group, LLC (TCG) is a privately held, independent media holding company founded by Peter Chernin and based in Los Angeles, California. TCG has built, managed, operated, and invested in businesses in the media, entertainment, and technology sectors around the world since 2010. TCG’s assets include Chernin Entertainment, which produces feature films and television programs; Otter Media, an online video venture with AT&T which oversees a portfolio of businesses including Fullscreen Media, Ellation, Crunchyroll, Gunpowder & Sky, and Hello Sunshine; TCG Digital, which acquires and invests in companies in the digital media sector such as Barstool Sports, The Athletic, Scopely, Stadium Goods, and VoiceLabs; and CA Media, which operates media and entertainment businesses in India and Indonesia. Providence Equity Partners LLC, Qatar Holding LLC, 1Verge (investment vehicle of Victor Koo, founding CEO of Youku and Chengwei Capital), Sumitomo and other investors are shareholders and strategic partners of TCG.