US based Wasserman Media Group acquires the UK’s rights manager and advisory firm Reel Enterprises

US based sports and entertainment agency Wasserman Media Group has acquired the UK’s rights manager and advisory firm Reel Enterprises. The move is in line with the US firm’s strategy of becoming a global sports rights market-maker. The financial terms of the transaction were however undisclosed.

Based in Los Angeles, the sports and entertainment agency has clients such as the New York Jets, T-Mobile and American Express. The UK investment will see Wasserman launch a U.K.-based rights practice under the deal, potentially overseeing billions of dollars of sports rights auctions.

Reel Enterprises is the privately held company founded by former Reuters and BBC executive David Kogan and GMTV executive Sara Munds. The combination brought together some of the most influential specialists in the world at pricing and packaging sports rights for broadcasters -- having overseen over $16 billion in deal contracts since launching 13 years ago.

Based in London, Reel Enterprises advised the International Olympic Committee on the European sale of TV rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games and has acted for the U.K. Premier League since 2000, creating a multibillion dollar market for U.K. pay TV, free-TV and digital soccer rights. Other clients include the NFL, the English Football League and a host of broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Commenting on the acquisition, David Kogan said the deal with Wasserman gives the firm a global platform to drive the value of its media assets. Kogan’s expertise will help strengthen Wasserman's existing domestic media rights and consulting businesses. The two founders of the UK business will join Wasserman to develop a global media rights practice based in London, reporting to Casey Wasserman, Wasserman Media Group chairman and CEO.

Commenting on the investment, Wasserman Media Group chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman noted that David and Sara have developed an unparalleled global rights business with the most respected and accomplished business in the sector. Casey further stated that by integrating Reel into the Wasserman platform, the firm is making a significant step in its efforts to offer rights and media representation in the U.K.

Wasserman Media Group is a global sports and entertainment company with leadership positions in athlete representation, property sales, action sports, as well as corporate and property consulting. The firm represents more than 800 athletes in over 20 sports.

Wasserman is based in Los Angeles and operates in nine cities across the world, including New York, London, and Mumbai.

25 feb 2011