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You’re reading it here first: Yahoo is close to making its biggest sports acquisition after, well, the Broadcast.com deal: the college sports network Rivals.com, paidContent.org has learned. The price could reach around $100 million, which some we’ve spoken to say is overpriced, and that’s why the traditional sports media buyers are sitting out on this one. One exec involved in online sports acquisitions told us $50-75 million would be more realistic given a model that can — and has been — replicated and described the reaction to what Rivals was asking — $100 million — as “sticker shock.”
For comparison, FIM paid $60 million for Scout Media in September 2005.
The new acquisition would be a boost to Yahoo Sports, which has been looking for ways to catch up to the juggernaut of ESPN.com and the surge from FoxSports.com. It has an already-existing deal with Rivals.com for sharing sports content; Rivals also supplies content to USAToday.com, AOL Sports, SportingNews.com, MSNBC.com and SI.com.
Rivals.com, based in Brentwood, TN, was founded in 2001, from the ashes of then-Seattle-based Rival Networks. The Internet start-up burned through more than $75 million dollars in venture capital funding during the dotcom bust, and the assets were available through a forced liquidation. Interestingly, it was rumored then that Yahoo was looking at buying the assets of the company. A history of Rivals.com since then is here. CEO Shannon Terry made the list of SBJ’s Top 20 in Online Sports earlier this year.
— <a href="http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/scout-medias-sale-to-fox-interactive-60-million-tag/" title="Scout Media