08/23/21: ONE breaks down its success on Wave and recent deals


Medias First Morning Read


Monday August 23, 2021

ONE Championship roots continue to grow with the global promotion not only scoring a new exclusive global partnership with Theta Network, a blockchain platform, to launch ONE’s first-ever NFT, but the company is also notching serious numbers through its partner, WAVE.tv. The company reports that on the platform, ONE reached an average monthly viewership of 85 million, scoring an average of 1.75 million views per post, with total programming to date on their platforms reaching over 750 million views. Over 50% of ONE Championship viewership across the WAVE.tv network has been stateside with data spanning Sept. 2020 – May 2021.

Cynopsis Sports asked Hua Fung Teh, President, Group ONE, parent company of ONE Championship and ONE Esports, about the state of the brand and its recent moves.

On the ONE brand: In just 10 years, ONE has become a top 10 global sports media property, as recently noted in Nielsen’s “How the World’s Biggest Sports Properties Engaged Fans in 2020” report. We ranked third overall, just behind EPL and Champions League and ahead of the NFL, for Global Broadcast Viewership, fourth in total digital video views, just behind the NBA and NFL, and were number one for digital footprint growth. A big factor in our growth was a dogged focus on building audience and scale globally, and as part of this, a deliberate strategy of doubling-down on digital platforms (in addition to traditional terrestrial channels). That created a network that allowed us to constantly engage with our core fans and reach new audiences across all media formats.

Even with all of this astronomical growth, we continue to stay true to our original mission, which is to unleash real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration. Now, the ONE brand is associated with being the best of the best across all martial arts disciplines, with World Champions who overcame the odds to achieve their dreams, and who share their journeys with fans along the way.
On the future: Five years from now, ONE will be known as one of the largest creators of sports and entertainment content for Gen Z and Millennials globally, with live events and content that not only unify a wide global audience, but also resonate locally within our core markets. We will also introduce new innovative products using next-gen stats, VR/AR, multi-screen, on-ground and in-stadium experiences, and digital connectivity, to ensure that our offerings continue being at the cutting edge. Being a global sports property born in the digital age, we have an opportunity to push the boundaries of the fan experience on both the Eastern and Western hemispheres, and we plan on doing that.

On a point of pride: For me personally, one of the moments that I am most proud of was our team’s ability to pull off our 100th event, ONE: CENTURY, a double-header with two five-hour shows held from 10am-3pm and 6pm-11pm, with full turnover of audience, stage, and athletes. The event was held on October 13 in Tokyo and involved months of planning and coordination. Just a few days before the show, an imminent threat of a typhoon hitting Tokyo put the whole spectacle in question. I recall being on the phone with the team 10 hours before the event – everyone was developing backup plans and exploring multiple scenarios. In the end, all we could do was be best-prepared and ensure the show could go on if it was meant to be. In the end, on top of a typhoon, an earthquake hit Tokyo too. But we all woke up, opened our windows, and saw limited damage and the water receding. The event went on, and it was an astounding success, with two sold-out shows and 85 million viewers globally across the doubleheader.

On growth via esports and NFTs: With digital being part of our DNA (of the top global sports properties we were the only one born in the digital age) and owning our IP and in-house capabilities, coupled with an ever-growing community of fans globally provides us with many opportunities to push the boundaries of what it means to serve a sports fan in the 21st century, and we intend to do just that. As they say, “Watch this space.”

On the WAVE.tv partnership: Our partnership has been among the most successful for WAVE.tv to date, specifically on their combat sports-focused brand, Haymakers, cementing ONE as a leading combat sports property amongst Gen Z in the U.S. market. In a matter of seven months, ONE has become a top-five partner (out of over 100) for WAVE.tv for all-time viewership, constantly performing well above the benchmark of other combat sports content in their portfolio, with over 750 million views to date and quickly approaching 1 billion.


The NBA released the complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for its broadcast partners for the league’s 75th Anniversary Season. Throughout the season, the league will feature NBA 75 Classic Matchups to celebrate the teams, players, coaches and moments that have defined 75 years of NBA basketball. The 2022 NBA Play-In Tournament will take place April 12-15 (Tuesday – Friday), followed by the start of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on Saturday, April 16. TNT will present the 2022 Western Conference Finals and ESPN/ABC will present the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. ABC will televise the NBA Finals 2022 presented by YouTube TV with Game 1 scheduled to be played on June 2.

ESPN and ABC’s share of the NBA schedule will see a 101-game national television slate, with ESPN in line for 82 games while ABC carries 19. The NBA on ABC lineup includes six appearances by the Golden State Warriors, along with five appearances each by the Lakers Nets and Bucks with four appearances by the Celtics. The NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series will return for its seventh season with a slate that begins Dec. 11 with the Warriors/76ers. The ABC Sunday Showcase presented by Reese’s tips off with the Hawks/Celtics on Feb. 13.ESPN’s coverage features at least 10 appearances each by the Bucks, Lakers, Warriors, Nets, Knicks, Suns, Celtics and Mavericks.

Turner Sports’ NBA season delivers a 65-game schedule, including a marquee Opening Night doubleheader, a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day doubleheader, regular doubleheader game coverage on Tuesdays and Thursdays (starting in January), and a primetime doubleheader to close out the regular season schedule on April 10. The Lakers lead with most appearances, notching 13, followed by 12 for the Warriors; 11 for the Nets; and 10 by the Bucks. Overall, TNT will televise doubleheaders on 18 Tuesdays, 12 Thursdays, MLK Day (Monday) and the regular season’s final day.

NBA TV will televise 107 live games during the 2021-22 regular season. The network will tip off its regular season coverage with five games in three nights, starting with a Kia NBA Tip-Off 2021 doubleheader on Oct. 23.

Major League Baseball and Universal Pictures formally announced that Field of Dreams baseball is returning next season, when the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs square off for a regular season game in Dyersville, Iowa on Aug. 11, 2022. FOX, which delivered nearly six million viewers for the inaugural game last week, will once again provide exclusive national coverage of MLB at Field of Dreams,

Las Vegas provided muscle for WWE, which reports that SummerSlam at Allegiant Stadium set an indoor attendance record for the event, claiming a sold-out crowd of 51,326 fans. In addition, WWE announced that it will return to Allegiant Stadium July 4th weekend of 2022 for Money In The Bank, marking the first time in history that Money In The Bank will be held at an NFL stadium. “Las Vegas, its residents and visitors have demonstrated that Vegas is the perfect city for our biggest events,” said Nick Khan, WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer. “Money In The Bank, an appropriately titled event for Vegas and one of our five annual tentpoles, will bring the WWE Universe back to Allegiant Stadium July 4th weekend of 2022.”

The Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 are reportedly expected to formally announce an alliance between the three leagues in the next seven to 10 days, according to ESPN. The scope of the alliance remains uncertain, according to one AD. While initial conversations involved all sports, recent discussions have focused solely on football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Meanwhile, ESPN lined up its slate of men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball games over the coming months with nearly 400 games available across ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network (SECN), ACC Network (ACCN), Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and Longhorn Network. More than 3,500 additional events will be available via ESPN3, SEC Network+ and ACC Network Extra, as well as ESPN+, which will feature a variety of conferences including the AAC, A10, American, American East, ASUN, Big Sky, Big West, CUSA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MVC, OVC, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt and WAC.

YES reports that the network has been averaging 317,000 Total Viewers for its Yankees games this month, marking its best viewership month of the season. Thus far this season, YES has had 39 Yankees games that averaged 300,000 Total Viewers or more (out of 98 games).

The National Lacrosse League announced that the 2021 NLL Entry Draft will be held virtually on Aug. 28 and the induction ceremony of the NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2021 presented by GAIT Lacrosse has been postponed to a later date. The first two rounds will be available for live streaming on TSN.ca and the TSN app in Canada along with the NLL’s YouTube channel and Facebook (@NLL). Live coverage begins at 7p.

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The richest six days in horse racing will now be known as the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs, with raced on Sept. 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12. Courtesy of a new partners, Kentucky Downs and FanDuel — the parent company of the U.S. market-leader TVG racing network and betting platform — announced the three-year partnership. “TVG is America’s undisputed leader in television horse racing, and Kentucky Downs has developed arguably the best betting product in the industry,” said Ron Winchell, Kentucky Downs’ co-owner and co-managing partner. “That includes the largest purses and field sizes in the country combined with takeout rates that are very horseplayer friendly.”


Unions representing players in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League struck exclusive agreements with a new trading card company overseen by retail giant Fanatics. The deals will end MLB’s long-standing run with Topps, while basketball and football players had deals with Panini America. All three unions took stakes in the new company that will now have control of the most lucrative sports trading card assets in the country. The MLBPA deal begins in 2023. MLB’s current agreement with Topps runs through 2025. The NBA and NFL unions’ deals run through 2025 and 2026, respectively.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will see Facebook serve up a hub of information, including highlights from official Paralympic broadcast partners, team and athlete overviews, a Paralympic Games quiz, posts from friends and more, starting today. The company also worked with the IPC to launch a four-part film series on Facebook Watch that explores “how sport has created a positive change for disabled communities around the world, in support of #WeThe15. The series highlights how Facebook “helps communities in the US, UK, Brazil and New Zealand come together online — and the real-world impact it has offline.”


LiveXLive’s original content division, StudioOne, has produced and developed in partnership with Queens Gaming Collective to launch four original dynamic series exclusively on Twitch. The slate is headlined by a 10-episode weekly series order for the pop-culture series Spoilers for Days, and also includes Game Night Unplugged, a show that captures the fun and nostalgia of childhood sleepovers as friends hang out and play different table-top games, The Queens Squares, a game show, and Mental Health Check, an interactive fan-driven advice show.


GSE Worldwide acquired South Florida-based DEC Management. DEC represents over 50 NFL players including NFL stars Demarcus Lawrence, Xavien Howard, Vonn Bell, Jamie Collins, Cody Barton, Asante Samuel, Jr, and Olivier Vernon. “We’re thrilled to welcome the DEC Management team and founder David Canter to the GSE team,” said Andrew Witlieb, President of GSE Worldwide. “Between GSE’s existing NFL marketing clientele and the powerful and talented client roster David and his team have put together, this further positions GSE as the top agency for NFL representation in the world.”

How to Create Culturally Relevant Content
In partnership with Discovery, the Diversity and Inclusion virtual event on September 13 takes a deep dive into how to deliver a message that embraces diversity and shares your business values in a way that resonates with consumers. The best part? It’s FREE to join.


Secure your complimentary virtual pass now.

1953: Former Brave Phil Paine becomes the first former major leaguer to play in Japan.

The US is first all-time in the Paralympic overall medal count. Which country is second? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which MLB pitcher holds the record for throwing the most complete games? Answer: Cy Young. Kudos: Eric Shapiro-Mediatech Advertising Limited/UK; John Ferlazzo/UK; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Cory Angerthal-AMC Networks/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Brad French-encore/Coppell; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Larry Hutchings/San Luis Obispo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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