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New channels for fight and fantasy fans

Featherweight Paul Geraci of Bellmore Kickboxing reacts after

Featherweight Paul Geraci of Bellmore Kickboxing reacts after defeating Victor Robinson of VollaSign Entertainment during the MMA Platinum Gloves amateur tournament at The Sports Arena in St. James on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

There seems to be no end in sight to the proliferation of specialized sports outlets, but say this for Len Asper, CEO of Toronto-based Anthem Media, which recently brought FNTSY Sports Network and Fight Network to Cablevision:

In fantasy and combat sports (including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling), he at least has two growth areas with favorable, young-skewing demographics to sell.

Cablevision, which owns Newsday, is an early adopter of the channels in the United States, but Asper said he has plans to expand to many other distributors, and sees plenty of room for yet more sports content.

“As these channels get better and we invest in programming we keep finding more and more people are interested,’’ he said.

Asper rejected the notion that sports television is reaching a saturation point.

“I’ve been hearing that for 25 years,’’ he said. “There are still many hours of a day where people aren’t consuming sports content, and they could be . . . When you get to the economics of it you don’t need mass audiences for a lot of these sports. We don’t need ESPN’s cost structure to produce great television.’’


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