Content Arena secures new investment and advisors

Content Arena, the online media rights trading platform, has secured fresh investment and two new high-level advisors.

SportBusiness understands DAZN chief business development officer John Gleasure and Sportradar head of innovation Alexander Fryba have become advisors to the company, with Gleasure investing in a personal capacity.

The investment in the company, which was co-founded by Sascha Kojic and Erik Lorenz in 2017, along with Klemens Kögl and Bernie Riedlsperger of investor Hogmore Media AG, comes as it looks to grow its digital media rights trading platform and roll-out a new Rights Management Tool.

The trading platform has acquired more than 600 registered users since its debut at Sportel Monaco in 2018. The company aims to bring “transparency, efficiency and simplicity” to the media-rights trading process which has been largely undisrupted by technology.

Kojic, who counts Discovery, MP & Silva and the Sportsman Media Group among his former employers, runs his own consultancy and teamed up with Lorenz, formerly of Sportradar and the German Football League (DFL), to create Content Arena. In partnering with Hogmore Media, a media rights company that distributes rights to football friendlies and training camps, the duo secured content that could immediately sit on the platform.

Given Hogmore Media’s involvement, the platform was initially skewed during its testing phase towards football rights, but has since broadened out to include various other sports, such as basketball, handball, ice hockey and rugby union. An agreement with boxing promoter Team Sauerland was also announced earlier this year.

The platform is designed to address a perceived ‘bottleneck’ in the market created by the growth in the number of both buyers and sellers as the amount of available programme increases and OTT operators and others swell the potential customer base.

Kojic and Lorenz founded the company on the belief that, while premium rights will still be handed in the traditional manner, rights further down the established value chain – together with the long-tail rights for premium properties – can be handled more effectively by a digital system which matches buyers and sellers, facilitates the transfer of funds and takes care of the legal paperwork.

Content Arena generates revenues through a commission charged to sellers on each transaction.

Around a third of the registered users are broadcasters, while leading agencies and rights-holders have also been signed up. The platform was not set up with the intention of rivalling agencies, but in the belief that agencies will be able to use it to monetise their non-premium rights.

The company is now finalising a Rights Management Platform giving rights owners or their agents instant and granular information about the status of their entire rights portfolio. The platform can be used in isolation or linked to the market platform to create visibility and a transaction channel for unsold rights.