The CW Network has teamed with Range Sports to develop new content and event franchises as the broadcast network expands its menu of live sports and related content. The move into college-level and progressional sports is as part of a larger strategy shift for CW under owner Nexstar Media Group.
The agreement calls for Range Sports, a unit of management-production startup Range Media Partners, to work with CW Sports and Nexstar brass on new sports-related programs and branded content as well as to advise on rights deals on the national level and in local markets for CW affiliates. Range Sports also promises to use the resources of the Range Media to help CW with talent representation, brand consulting, data and analytics and provide production capabilities for scripted and unscripted programs.
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Range Sports, launched in 2022, is headed by co-presidents Will Funk and Greg Luckman.
“We are thrilled to partner with The CW Network to enhance their sports portfolio and provide incremental value to viewers, sponsors and advertising partners,” said Funk and Luckman. “With broadcast distribution available in all households across the country, Nexstar and The CW are building the foundation for the next great sports programming engine and we are excited about the opportunity to be a part of their outstanding team.”
The CW began to embrace live sports for the first time in its nearly 20-year history after the network was acquired from Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global by Nexstar, the nation’s largest owner of TV stations. At present the network’s roster of sports rights includes such leagues and events as LIV Golf and ACC football and men’s and women’s college basketball games.
The CW will add the WWE’s NXT grappling franchise later this year and racing’s NASCAR Xfinity Series starting in 2025. The network has also picked up long-running sports-related programs such as “Inside the NFL” and “500 Days to Indy.”
“We are excited to select Range Sports to serve as a strategic partner with CW Sports,” said Michael Strober, Nexstar’s chief revenue officer. “Their deep bench of brand marketers and creative firepower will accelerate our efforts to bring immersive and captivating sponsorship programs to our local and national advertisers.”
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