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07.27.2007
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Yahoo buys Rivals.com

Yahoo has acquired Rivals.com, an online network that provides extensive coverage of major college sports such as basketball and football, with an emphasis on recruitment of high school athletes. No financial details were provided.

About 185,000 subscribers pay monthly or annual fees — ranging from $10 to $100 — to get the latest updates on which high school players are going to which schools, Dow Jones reported. Subscribers, the report said, tend to be devoted alumni of big sports colleges such as Notre Dame, Michigan, USC or North Carolina.

By joining up with Yahoo, Rivals is aiming to step up its long-running competition with Scout.com, a similar service with more than 200,000 subscribers. News Corp. bought Scout.com two years ago.

The deal is also intended to improve Yahoo’s position as an online destination for sports fans, where it competes with ESPN.com, FOXSports.com and others.

Yahoo executives would not disclose the price of the acquisition, but individuals close to the company told the “Times” that the price was about $100 million. The report noted that Yahoo has recently been bolstering its offerings, licensing content from a variety of top media partners such as ABC, CBS and Fox.

In sports, Yahoo ranked second, with 15 million visitors, to ESPN.com’s 17.5 million visitors in May, according to comScore, a Web audience measuring firm. Its audience, however, is growing at more than twice the rate than that of ESPN.com, the “Times” reported.



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