OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – NEW YORK – May 28, 2008 – MTV Networks Music Group, a division of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) and NBC Sports, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. today announced a wide ranging, strategic partnership to expand the AST (Action Sports Tour), a global, youth-focused, multimedia, action sports business that includes the AST Dew Tour, the AST Winter Dew Tour and the amateur Free Flow Tour into a global brand that spans MTV and NBC’s multiple screens. Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music and Logo Group and Dick Ebersol, Chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics made the announcement. Action Sports Tour, LLC, the company that will operate the business, will be co-owned by MTV Networks and NBC Sports.
As part of the MTV Networks/NBC Universal alliance around the AST, MTV and MTV2 will provide lifestyle programming, targeted cross-promotion, multi-platform content and distribution, consumer products licensing and merchandising to the joint venture. NBC Sports will continue to produce extensive competition coverage of the AST tours and provide live network broadcasts and on-air promotion around AST competitions.
The addition of MTV and MTV2 programming for the AST nearly doubles what was already action sports’ largest annual television schedule. MTV and MTV2 will produce programming showcasing the AST competition as well as the lifestyle of some of action sports biggest names and those up and coming on the circuit. In addition, the music brands will highlight the musical aspects of the tour, with MTV2 spotlighting emerging local artists as part of the tour’s overall activities. In addition, MTV will build upon the AST’s significant digital reach on AST.com, adding more tools, enhanced community, functionality and video content for users to interact with and find out more about the latest news from the tour 24/7 and throughout the year.
“MTV pioneered the marriage of music, sports and lifestyle back in the early 1990’s” said Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music and Logo Group. “Today, by joining forces with NBC Sports on the AST, we’ll be giving our audience the chance to experience a next generation sports tour that covers it all.”
Ebersol said: “When we created the Action Sports Tour, we always hoped that one day MTV would be a strategic partner. The Tour will see immediate benefits from this alliance and is now uniquely positioned for long-term growth.”