Today, the Players Media Group – a sports-centric new media entertainment company – announced the creation of PlayersTV, a new network dedicated to sports lifestyle and culture entertainment. With elite professional athletes such as legends Carmelo Anthony, Vernon Davis, CJ McCollum and Chris Paul as partners – among others – PlayersTV will launch in March 2020 on Samsung TV Plus. Anthem Sports & Entertainment, owner of AXS TV, Impact Wrestling and other media properties, is also an investor and strategic partner in Players Media Group.
“In today’s world, the desire to not only connect directly with athletes but also learn about their lives off the field of play continues to grow exponentially. But it hasn’t always been easy getting great athlete content into the hands of fans,” said Players Media Group co-founder Deron Guidrey. “Through PlayersTV, we’ve created a distribution ecosystem that brings fans and athletes together in one place, making it easier for fans to access the content they desire, and easier for athletes to reach their fans and also better monetize their content. I’m excited to have world-class athletes join us as shareholders, investors and partners on this journey.”
Players Media Group is the newest venture of Collin Castellaw and Deron Guidrey, the sport entertainment and marketing visionaries behind Pregame Media, the digital agency that helped sports influencers to brand, monetize and scale their brands. Players Media Group has attracted a team of media industry experts with a combined 70+ years of digital, broadcast and streaming experience.
“We’ve assembled a world-class team of industry professionals who have proven track records of success in developing, launching and operating both linear and OTT channels,” said Players Media Group co-founder Collin Castellaw. “With this executive team at the helm, and with the support from athletes, strategic partners and our advisory board of industry luminaries, we believe we can make an immediate impact and help athletes to fully benefit from their content.”
At the helm is television industry veteran Nancy Pingitore who will serve as CEO and is leading the launch of PlayersTV into the video viewing marketplace. Pingitore has 30 years of experience in cable television and broadcast, including senior positions at the Tennis Channel, Incanta, MOR Music TV and the ’92 Olympics ‘Triplecast’ PPV Coverage where she has led sales, strategy, business development operations. In addition to Pingitore, the executive team will include veteran sports and entertainment attorney Matt Allinson, and Showtime and Disney programming alum Bruce Rider as Chief Content Officer.
In addition to the company’s executive team, Players Media Group is supported by a team of advisors and industry veterans from the sports, entertainment and marketing industries, most notably including:
- Randy Brown, Anthem executive and TV veteran (ESPN, Tennis Channel, Outdoor Channel)
- Adam Cheyer, Vice President of R&D for Samsung Mobile; Siri Co-Founder; founder member of Change.org
- Jene Elzie, Sports, Media, Content & Distribution Executive (Tennis Channel, Fox Sports, NBA International Marketing)
- Ed Horowitz, SVP Viacom Media, Oversaw HBO, MTV, VH1 and Paramount, Board Member of Citi & Encompass
- Patty Hubbard, BrandForward Co-Founder, Founding Partner of MKTG, former president OnBoard Experiential Marketing
- Stephanie Martin, Sports, Communications & Marketing Executive (Super Bowl 50, 34th America’s Cup, BrandForward)
- John Ward, In Demand CTO, EVP at DirecTV, Fox Sports, 12-time Emmy Award Winner
At the PlayersTV launch party during NBA All-Star Weekend, professional athletes in attendance talked about PlayersTV and the impact they believe it will make for athletes.