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CBS to acquire College Sports Television Networks

CBS purchased College Sports Television (CSTV) Networks, a cable and satellite sports network dedicated to coverage of college sports, for $325 million, CBS chairman and co-president and Viacom COO Leslie Moonves announced last week.

The deal is expected to close in early January 2006 after winning governmental approval and the split of Viacom into two discrete entities, which is expected by the end of 2005.

CSTV founder and CEO Brian Bedol will continue to run the network's cable operation. He will report to Moonves.

The acquisition includes:

  • a digital cable network featuring 30 men's and women's college sports events and nearly 15 million subscribers
  • licensing deals, including numerous sports agreements with colleges, universities and conferences
  • online properties, consisting of a network of more than 250 official college athletic Web sites featuring full video and audio, news, scores, community elements and e-commerce for retail college sports-related products
  •, which supports the cable networks and other online properties
  • regional College Sports Networks to be launched in 2006, featuring the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA sporting events, including the Brigham Young University; Marshall University; the University of Memphis; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; the University of Southern Mississippi; and University of Utah.

The new collegiate sports business is expected to work closely with CBS Sports and CBS Digital Media to assure that its operations are fully integrated into CBS' activities.

According to CBS, with this acquisition, it will have a online sports audience of 19 million unique users.

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