Web video content network Whistle Sports has closed a fresh $28 million round of funding, the startup announced today.
Whistle Sports is a multi-channel video network that focuses on professional- and collegiate-level sports content from over 200 YouTube channels. That means it provides support and resources to these video creators in exchange for a cut of revenue those videos generate. The startup sees itself as an attractive alternative to major video networks from pro sports leagues and news organizations because it caters to a younger audience that prefers to consume short, humorous, or interesting video clips. Earlier this year Whistle launched on Xbox Live and is also available on Roku set-top boxes.
And Whistle Sports isn’t the only multi-channel video network that’s raised a big investment (or seen a huge acquisition deal), either. This is an area traditional media companies are very interested in because of the audience they bring in, which is typically younger and consumes content differently than TV programming audiences.
“We are reaching and engaging a huge demographic of digital natives, who have very different sports media consumption patterns and requirements,” said Whistle Sports CEO John West in a statement. And as West said, Whistler Sports has 12.4 million YouTube subscribers.
The new round of funding was led by Emil Capital Partners, with participation from Sky Broadcasting, Liberty Global, and previous investors, such as former New York Yankee Derek Jeter and Denver Bronco Peyton Manning. Whistle first raised an $8 million funding round last year that also included angel investors from the pro sports world.
Launched in early 2014, Whistle Sports has raised more than $36 million in funding to date.