Previously, WWE had relied on BAMTech, now called Disney Streaming Services, to deliver its over-the-top WWE Network subscription service since its launch in early 2014. WWE’s agreement with Disney Streaming Services expired at the end of 2018 and WWE opted to not renew that deal.
“Endeavor Streaming’s best-in-class technology enables us to offer more features, elevate the user experience and provides us even more opportunity to delight our fans around the world,” WWE chairman/CEO Vince McMahon said in a statement.
WWE also Monday announced a partnership with Massive Interactive, a user-interface design firm recently acquired by Deltatre, which together with the Endeavor Streaming pact is “part of our evolving strategy to own more of the WWE Network technology stack,” WWE said in a statement.
The Endeavor Streaming group combines the talent agency and media company’s internally developed video platform technology with NeuLion, a technology product and service provider specializing in digital video broadcasting, distribution and monetization. Endeavor acquired NeuLion for $250 million in March 2018. With the formation of Endeavor Streaming, the NeuLion brand name will be discontinued.
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NeuLion’s streaming track record has been far from spotless. For example, in August 2017, during the UFC’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor boxing match, the NeuLion-provided live stream failed for customers of UFC’s Fight Pass. (UFC said it issued refunds for the pay-per-view event on a case-by-case basis.)
According to Endeavor, along with WWE, the streaming group recently signed customers including the U.K.’s BT Sport Box Office service and OSN, an entertainment network serving the Middle East and North Africa.
Endeavor Streaming’s clients also include the NFL, NBA, Euroleague, Univision, Sportsnet, Sky Sports, MSG, National Geographic, and Big Ten Network. In addition, the group will continue supporting the streaming products of Endeavor-owned properties including UFC’s UFC.TV and Fight Pass and PBR’s Ride Pass.
The Endeavor Streaming business will be co-led by Endeavor CTO Nick Wilson and Will Staeger, president of business operations. Staeger previously was a senior VP in IMG’s original content division after formerly working at ESPN, WWE, and Dick Clark Prods.
“We’ve integrated Endeavor’s scalable platform with NeuLion’s industry leading technology and feature set to provide clients with the best tools and services in video streaming, removing technology as a barrier in reaching their consumers,” Wilson and Staeger said in a joint statement.