CSTV Gets $37M Infusion


College Sports Television has completed a series-C equity round, securing some $37 million.

The network, which recently inked a distribution pact with Comcast Corp., said it received a $25 million investment from JPMorgan Partners, the private-equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co., as well as $12 million from the New York City Investment Fund and several extant CSTV investors -- a group that includes Constellation Ventures, Allen & Co. and The Coca-Cola Co.

Proceeds from the round have been earmarked for a variety of purposes, according to CEO Brian Bedol.

CSTV is made up of a linear 24-hour TV channel and CollegeSports.com (www.collegesports.com) and its network of nearly 160 athletic sites.

“This is a vote of confidence from deep-pocketed investors,” Bedol said. “We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing -- acquiring and developing more programming, expanding the reach of our marketing efforts and building on various technological platforms.”

Bedol said CSTV -- which had earlier lined up $9 million through an A funding round and $35 million via a B round -- is not immediately eyeing a fourth round. “We’ll see what opportunities exist,” he added. “It’s nice to have success and access to capital to grow [under the current round].”

Bedol noted that last month’s announcement about CSTV’s distribution pact with Comcast didn’t trigger the latest funding round.

“As you know, these negotiations take a long time. JPMorgan’s commitment was made prior to closing the Comcast deal -- it was never contingent upon that,” he said.

As for its pact with the nation’s largest MSO, Bedol said digital rollouts would begin in a number of Comcast markets over the next 30 days: Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, Calif.; and Baltimore. He added that Chicago and South Bend, Ind., were on tap for launches by Oct. 1.

CSTV is currently available to some 30 million homes -- a total that could reach 35 million-40 million by year’s end, according to the network.