NBCUniversal-backed digital-media player Vox Media has sold its first original TV show to Verizon’s Go90: SB Nation’s “Foul Play,” a 10-episode true-crime docu-series about the shadowy underbelly of sports, will debut exclusively later this year on the mobile-centric Go90 video service.
The show is produced by Vox Entertainment, the company’s L.A.-based development, production and distribution division. Each episode of “Foul Play” will explore an untold story of the sports world’s most legendary scandals, crimes, heists, and falls from grace. The series episodes will run approximately 10 minutes, with exclusive clips and additional extended content available for each episode on SB Nation.
Marty Moe, Vox Media’s president, who oversees Vox Entertainment, said the company has additional projects in the pipeline as it looks to reach audiences for its different content brands across TV, mobile, social and online.
“It’s an important moment for us in that, unlike a lot of folks, we aren’t licensing our brand,” he said. “This is not a co-production with a traditional TV production company. We produced this in-house.”
Vox Entertainment brought on Charlie Kreisa (“Gangsters: America’s Most Evil,” ESPN’s “30 for 3o”) to serve as showrunner and executive producer. The creative team for “Foul Play” includes SB Nation editorial director Spencer Hall and creative director Jon Bois. Serving as executive producers are Marty Moe, Chad Mumm, VP of Vox Entertainment, and Jared Tobman, Vox Entertainment head of business development and production. Vox Media is repped by WME.
SB Nation, launched in 2005, was the company’s original name before it officially redubbed itself Vox Media. The sports site now operates more than 300 fan-centric team communities, attracting some 70 million unique monthly visitors.
One of Vox Media’s pitches to distributors for premium series is that – unlike traditional production companies – it will integrate promotion and tune-in of that content across all of its platforms, Moe said. “We’ll be able to tell our SB Nation audience in organic and very repetitive ways, ‘Here’s a show on Go90 we know you’re going to love, because it comes from us.'”
Vox Media’s investors include NBCU — which plowed $200 million into the company a year ago — as well as Accel Partners, Allen & Co., Khosla Ventures and General Atlantic. The Washington, D.C.-based company’s other brands and businesses include Eater, the Verge, Vox, Curbed, Recode and the Code Conferences, Racked, Polygon, Concert and Vox Creative.