MTV Networks Music Group and NBC Sports have formed a joint venture behind the AST Dew Tour, a series of action sports events.
Action Sports Tour, LLC, the company that will operate the business, is co-owned by MTV Networks and NBC Sports. Deal terms were not disclosed, but the company will look to expand attendance, awareness and business opportunities, including consumer-licensed products, for the AST Dew Tour, the AST Winter Dew Tour, which kicks off for the first time this December, and the amateur Free Flow Tour. The events will be touted by an array of MTV and NBC Universal vehicles.
MTVN jumps into an arena formerly occupied by former AST partner Live Nation, which NBC bought out last August.
As part of the agreement, MTV and MTV2 will produce programming showcasing the AST competition, as well as the lifestyles of some of top action sports stars and tour up-and- comers. In addition, the networks will highlight the musical aspects of the tour, with MTV2 spotlighting emerging local artists as part of the tour’s overall activities.
Through the joint venture, the number of hours devoted to AST Tour will jump significantly. Relative to the summer tour, which begins in Baltimore June 19, NBC will allocate 24.5 hours, while USA Network and MTV2 will commit a dozen apiece. MTV will air three hours, according to a spokeswoman for NBC Sports.
MTV Networks Music & Logo Group President Van Toffler said during a Wednesday afternoon conference call announcing the venture said the programming would follow “narrative stories around the athletes, preceding and following the events.”
He pointed to the network’s Life of Ryan, the two-season series looking at the skills, fame and family of skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, as an example of such. The programmer and the athlete said they were in conversations about new projects, with Sheckler saying “there will be something.”
MTVN will also be enhancing AST digital assets, with the expectation of adding considerably more video content and community functionality to the tour’s Web site.
NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol said that MTV, since it touched young people daily, was the perfect place to help grow the tour and action sports.
“MTV speaks to this audience every hour of every day. There is no other [vehicle] so dominant with this group as MTV,” he said adding that through the marriage of youth culture, the action sports movement and music, AST “can reach nirvana”.
The fourth season of the AST Dew Tour begins in Baltimore on June 19.