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Sports media company Whistle to launch ad-supported streaming network in Q4

Sports media and entertainment company Whistle Sports Inc. is preparing to bow a linear streaming channel late in the fourth quarter.

Izzet Asayas, Whistle's executive vice president of distribution, sales and strategy, announced the upcoming launch during a streaming panel Oct. 17 at the NAB Show New York.

The ad-supported network will run 24 hours a day, offering a mix of original programming and episodic content, featuring popular social media influencers, as well as movies and documentaries.

In an interview after the session, Asayas said Xumo LLC's platforms, devices from Roku Inc. and smart TVs from LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. are the "early partners" that will be carrying the network's live feed and video-on-demand content at launch. The company is working to secure additional agreements.

Asayas said the network will largely be focused on sports entertainment and lifestyle fare. WhistleTV also will feature live coverage of "niche sports" outside the realms of football, soccer, basketball and baseball, including car racing.

Whistle's heritage of instructional video for youth sports participants will also be seved, according to Asayas.

The content/ad load, he said, will conform to industry standards, with 22 minutes of programming and eight minutes of ads per half. WhistleTV's ad game plan calls for revenue through direct and programmatic ad sales, sponsorships and custom brand integrations.

Asked if he could announce any charter ad deals for the service, Asayas said news around such marketing pacts would be coming soon.

Whistle hired Griffin Gmelich, a former executive at Hulu LLC and Warner Bros., to oversee the procurement of production and distributor partnerships.

The streaming channel news follows Whistle's purchase of content creation studio Vertical Networks earlier this month.