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Endeavor acquires digital streaming company NeuLion

UFC Fight Night: Mirsad Bektic v Godofredo Pepey
Mirsad Bektic of Bosnia delivered a kick to Godofredo Pepey of Brazil during UFC Fight Night at Spectrum Center on Jan, 27, in Charlotte, North Carolina. UFC is one of the properties owned by Endeavor.
(Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

Bolstering its diversification into digital distribution, Endeavor is acquiring streaming technology company NeuLion in a deal valued at about $250 million.

The all-cash agreement, which hasn’t been finalized, will see the publicly traded NeuLion become a privately held subsidiary of Endeavor, the holding company of talent agencies WME and IMG.

The acquisition is expected to help Endeavor in the realm of sports since NeuLion has provided the streaming technology for numerous leagues, including two Endeavor properties: UFC and its joint venture partner, Euroleague. The deal will allow Endeavor to have a larger say in how its content is distributed to consumers.

Endeavor Chief Executive Ari Emanuel said in a statement Monday that “we’re excited for the value this brings to our existing partners and the foundation it provides for our future digital growth.”

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The Hollywood behemoth has been expanding its reach in recent years into production and other forms of content creation as it seeks to diversify beyond talent representation. The company’s expansion includes new initiatives in digital distribution linked to its brands. This year, Professional Bull Riders launched RidePass, a new digital streaming service for fans of the sport.

NeuLion provides technology services for live and on-demand digital content. The Plainview, N.Y., company has partnered with numerous sports leagues and provided the streaming service for last year’s UFC match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, the companies said. Endeavor will acquire each share of outstanding common stock of NeuLion for 84 cents. The stock closed at 50 cents on Friday before surging Monday to $1.06 on the acquisition news.

david.ng@latimes.com

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@DavidNgLAT


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