Sports media company Religion of Sports (RoS) has acquired UK-based production company Jiva Maya, best known for its Formula 1-focused documentaries such as Senna, Grand Prix Driver and Lucky!. The details of the acquisition are not disclosed.
Jiva Maya is the second media acquisition for RoS, the Los Angeles-based, Emmy Award-winning company founded by Gotham Chopra, NFL hall of famer Michael Strahan and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (earlier this year, the company acquired Main Event Media, an L.A.-based production company). Last June, the company raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Shamrock Capital, joined by Elysian Park Ventures and Cerro Capital.
According to RoS CEO Ameeth Sankaran, the Jiva Maya acquisition will play an important role in RoS’s expansion into global soccer, cricket and motorsports. It will also help the company as it establishes itself in Europe.
“We don’t really have a deep network the way we do in the U.S. with creators and leagues in Europe, in particular with F1, soccer—specifically EPL and LaLiga,” Sankaran said. “Jiva Maya allows us to plant a flag in Europe, engaging a new cadre of creators, producers and distribution networks.”
British writer and director Manish Pandey launched Jiva Maya in 2020. His latest project Lucky!, which tells the history of F1 told through the eyes of Bernie Ecclestone, has been licensed in 18 territories.
According to Sankaran, following the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive and The Last Dance, there has been an increased demand in scripted and unscripted sports content, although the trend may have peaked. “The last six months have been slower for sure when it comes to our partners’ buying decisions. It doesn’t mean nothing has gotten sold, nothing’s got started or nothing’s happening. It just means it’s been tougher,” he said.
Last year, RoS worked with Simon Biles, Russell Westbroook and Tom Brady, and distributed content across Apple TV+, ESPN, Showtime, Fox Sports and NBC. In addition to video, the company also produces podcasts, including the companion podcast that ran alongside Man in The Arena docuseries, and original investigative podcasts such as Crushed and False Idol, both nominated for Ambie awards for Best Sports Podcasts in 2022.
Sankaran said the company is currently working on a handful of projects, including a soon-to-be-announced project about a U.S. league.