Sports lovers get to see their favorite athletes shine on the court and one Black-owned channel is empowering athletes to be in control of the stories told about them off the court. PlayersTV launched in March 2020 and was founded by Deron Guidrey and Collin Castellaw. The platform is hailed as the first-ever athlete-owned TV network focused on athlete lifestyle and culture content.
The idea for PlayersTV was first thought of in 2018 but did not take off until a few years later during the pandemic. Co-founders Guidrey and Castellaw say the pandemic forced them to pivot their initial direction, but it also allowed them to “get a more captive audience of athletes,” according to Castellaw. The platform aims to showcase the personalities of the athletes being featured to help them better connect with their fans.
PlayersTV is a leading athlete lifestyle network that allows fans access to players beyond the game. The platform runs on original programming, documentaries, interviews and more. PlayersTV is an authentic brand that incorporates input from the athletes covered. The brand is backed by dozens of athletes across the NBA, NFL, MLB and WNBA, and many of the athletes own production companies. Chris Paul, Travis Kelce, Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving are among the players who have already joined the network.
Now the network will be able to expand its audience size through an upcoming distribution deal. The deal has been in the works for over a year, according to Guidrey. It was recently announced that PlayersTV will be available as a free ad-supported 24/7 Channel with Amazon Freevee, Fire TV Channels and Prime Video. The deal is expected to take effect in Fall 2023 and PlayersTV co-founders recognize the importance of the partnership. “This relationship marks a significant milestone for PlayersTV, as it allows us to amplify our mission of showcasing the human side of sports through captivating storytelling,” noted Guidrey in a press release.
With the new distribution deal, viewers can expect to see the original content that made the brand a success. The PlayersTV team plans to capture the attention of sports fans and viewers globally while offering audiences an immersive experience. They’ll also be able to get additional exposure with participation in the 2023 Invest Fest which will take place from August 25th to the 27th. Guidrey is expected to be a speaker at this year’s event which will include business and investing panel discussions, live performances, food and vendors.