Just An Online Minute... Yahoo Taps School Sport Spirit
The terms weren't disclosed, leading the Associated Press to speculate that the deal is "too small to dent Yahoo's finances." Meanwhile, the blogs TechCrunch and PaidContent both peg the purchase price at around $100 million.
Like sports site Scout Media, which News Corp. purchased for around $60 million two years ago, Rivals.com runs on a paid subscription model, where consumers pay $9.95 a month. Currently, the company has more than 180,000 subscribers on the books. Another similarity: Scout Media chief executive Jim Heckman, who now works for News Corp., also founded the original Rivals.com in 1998 (it was liquidated in 2001 and then relaunched under the same name).
Yahoo Sports plans to keep Rivals.com -- which offers sites for 105 college teams as well as 48 sites aimed at high school sports fans -- as an independent unit.
While Yahoo obviously is struggling to define itself in a Web 2.0 world, this deal at least seems to play to its strengths. For all Yahoo's well-publicized woes, with an estimated 15 million visitors a month, Yahoo Sports is the leading sports destination on the Web, according to press reports. As with News Corp's acquisition of Scout, Yahoo's purchase of Rivals.com seems likely to appeal to at least some of the current Yahoo Sports users; just as importantly, there's no obvious reason why Rivals.com users would defect now that the site's owned by a larger corporation.