Endeavor Returns $400M Investment From Saudi Public Investment Fund Following Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

Read on: Deadline.

Endeavor has returned the $400M investment it received from the Saudi Public Investment Fund following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Deadline has confirmed that the Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel headed has handed back the investment ove…

WME Parent Returns $400 Million Investment by Saudi Arabia

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The parent company of WME has completed its withdrawal from a $400 million deal with the Saudi Arabian government.

Endeavor returned the kingdom’s investment in full sometime in the last few weeks, the New York Times reported Friday. The company announced plans to terminate the deal on Oct. 15, just under two weeks after the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Endeavor did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Also Read: Mariah Carey to Perform in Saudi Arabia Despite Growing Backlash

In January, 2018, the Public Investment Fund — Saudi Arabia’s major sovereign wealth vehicle — struck a deal with Endeavor to buy a stake of less than 10 percent in the talent and media company for at least $400 million. It was just one of many huge financial investments made as part of a push spearheaded by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to remake the country’s image abroad. This push was intended to culminate last fall in Saudi Arabia’s prestigious economic gathering, the Future Investment Initiative conference, known as “Davos in the desert.”

But the murder of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and prominent critic of Mohammed bin Salman, turned this push into a PR disaster. There were widespread calls for companies to divest from Saudi Arabia, and most prominent American attendees canceled their appearances at the conference. Things only worsened after it was reported that intelligence agencies had determined the crown prince personally ordered the killing.

Also Read: NY Times Media Critic Blasts ‘Netflix’s Supine Compliance’ in Pulling ‘Patriot Act’ Episode in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government at first denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, but later said that a 15-man team, instructed to kidnap him from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and to return him by force the kingdom, instead violated their orders and killed and dismembered him. The kingdom continues to deny any involvement or knowledge by the crown prince. 11 suspects were indicted in November.

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British Dramas ‘Call the Midwife, ‘Endeavour,’ ‘Vera’ Get New Seasons

Read on: Variety.

The U.K.’s two biggest broadcasters have ordered new seasons of audience favorites “Call the Midwife,” “Endeavour,” and “Vera,” guaranteeing new episodes of some of the most-watched shows on British TV. Season 9 of period drama “Call the Midwife” is ab…

Endeavor Content Hires Tim Robinson as COO

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Endeavor Content has hired Tim Robinson as its new COO, in which he will assist in the company’s domestic and international growth strategy, Endeavor announced Tuesday.

In the newly created role, he will also oversee the company’s overall operations, which include business affairs, finance, HR and corporate development.

Most recently, Robinson served as COO of talent management and production company Avalon (“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” “Catastrophe”). Before then, he was interim COO of Vertical Networks, Elizabeth Murdoch’s digital content studio.

Also Read: Endeavor Launches New Streaming Venture With NeuLion’s Internal Video Platform

During his television career, Robinson also assisted in building Shine Group (“MasterChef,” “Biggest Loser”) into an international business of 27 companies. His roles at Shine included COO of Shine Australia and Deputy CEO of Metronome Group in Stockholm, as well as global COO of Shine Group in 2012. He also previously worked in business affairs at Celador (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”) and was a partner at media law firm, Sheridans. Robison will be based in Los Angeles.

“I am very excited to join the brilliant team at Endeavor Content and help them build a new platform for creative talent to develop, own and profit from their best ideas,” Robinson said.

Also Read: Mark Shapiro Promoted to President of Endeavor

“Tim’s track record of leading media companies during their most pivotal stages of growth, his international background, and overall reputation within our industry makes him the ideal individual to help lead Endeavor Content as it continues to evolve. This hire underscores our commitment to providing a best in class experience to artists, content creators, and our partners,” Endeavor Content Co-Presidents Chris Rice and Graham Taylor added.

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Endeavor Launches New Streaming Venture With NeuLion’s Internal Video Platform

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Endeavor, an entertainment company whose portfolio includes WME, IMG, and UFC, has announced the formation of a new streaming video company called Endeavor Streaming.

The new division will include NeuLion, a digital video technology company acquired by Endeavor in 2018 for $250 million. NeuLion, which will now operate under the Endeavor name, powers services from the NFL, NBA, UFC and Euroleague.

Endeavor Streaming will continue servicing the NFL, NBA, UFC, and Euroleague, while bringing on new clients including WWE and their streaming service WWE Network; UK-based BT and their new service, BT Sport Box Office; and OSN, a Middle East and North Africa entertainment network.

Also Read: Hulu Releases Fyre Festival Documentary 4 Days Before Netflix’s Own Exposé

The new entity will be co-led by Nick Wilson, the company’s chief technology officer, and Endeavor Streaming president of business operations Will Staeger, who previously served as senior vice president within IMG’s original content division.

“There is no better home for content owners – whether an established sports league or a rising new content creator – than Endeavor Streaming,” Wilson and Staeger said in a joint statement. “We’ve integrated Endeavor’s scalable platform with NeuLion’s industry leading technology and feature set to provide clients with the best tools and services in video streaming, removing technology as a barrier in reaching their consumers.”

Endeavor Streaming, which recently handled the record-breaking UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor, will continue servicing major media providers including Univision, Sportsnet, Sky Sports, MSG, National Geographic, and Big Ten Network.

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‘Fornite’ Maker Epic Games Raises $1.25 Billion In New Funding

Read on: Deadline.

Epic Games, the maker of top-selling videogame Fornite, has raised $1.25 billion in new funding from investors including KKR, Iconiq Capital and Smash Ventures.
Disney and Endeavor are among those with small stakes in Epic. Chinese conglomerate Tencent…

Endeavor Names Former Under Armour Exec Kerry Chandler as New HR Chief

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

WME parent company Endeavor announced on Monday that it has hired former Under Armour executive Kerry Chandler as the entertainment company’s new chief human resources officer.
“As Endeavor continues evolving and expanding, the human resour…