paidContent has learned that Stats LLC is acquiring PA SportsTicker, merging leading sports data services. Stats LLC is the sports data company co-owned by the Associated Press and News Corp (NYSE: NWS). PA SportsTicker is owned by Press Association, the UK news and information company; PA acquired it in 2006 from ESPN (NYSE: DIS). The company provides sports data and news to hundreds of newspapers, broadcasting outlets, websites and more. Online clients include Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and ESPN.com. Updated with details from Stats CEO Gary Walrath after the jump.
Update: I’ve just spoken with Stats CEO Gary Walrath, who filled me in on some of the details after he met with the Sportsticker staff. Price was not one of them, sorry to say. Walrath said Stats first started exploring a deal in the spring when PA was trying to sell its PA Sports group, “but the markets were beginning to in flux and we weren’t able to meet their expectations so we stepped away.” Then the idea came up of just acquiring the U.S. and Canadian operations, which took months to resolve. SportsTicker will be folded into Stats, which is headquartered in Chicago, and will bear the brunt of most of the layoffs Walrath plans to make later this year to deal with overlap. Stats has approximately 300 staffers, SportsTicker has 125. Walrath mentioned how sorry he is to have to give that message, particularly in this job market. Release.
– James Murdoch: News Corp has another connection to the deal — board member and Chairman/Chief Executive, Europe and Asia James Murdoch is on the PA board. Walrath stressed that Murdoch recused himself from the PA discussions and was not approached by Stats about the deal. “He stayed out of both sides of that.”
– UK aspects: The deal also calls for PA Sport to be the exclusive distributor of Stats’ content into the UK and “signals a mutual desire to work together on varying projects around the globe.”