Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Bauer Invest in Sports and Culture Platform PlayersTV (EXCLUSIVE)

Scott Soshnick

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Baseball hall-of-famer Ken Griffey Jr. and All-Star pitcher Trevor Bauer are investing in PlayersTV, the network dedicated to sports lifestyle and culture.

Griffey and Bauer join an array of athlete stakeholders that include basketball stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. They will lead the venture’s baseball vertical.

Professional athletes — and not just global icons like LeBron James — are increasingly active in content ventures, forming production companies as a way to create and distribute programming to fans around the globe. While sports is usually a centerpiece, athletes more than ever are seeking a voice in other topics.

Griffey’s Swingman Media Group, for example, generates content that ranges anywhere from on-the-field matters, to training, to working with charities and kids. Bauer, meantime, is co-founder of Momentum, a media company connecting baseball players with fans. Momentum this week held a livestream with five Major League Baseball players addressing racial injustice.

PlayersTV made its debut in March on Samsung TV Plus. Anthem Sports & Entertainment is also an investor in Players Media Group, the network’s parent company founded by entertainment executives Deron Guidrey and Collin Castellaw.

PlayersTV says it anticipates that three undisclosed distributors will carry the network by October, boosting its projected reach to more than 75 million households.

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