Leaked Story: Yahoo Buys Rivals.com

Yahoo will announce tomorrow it has bought collegiate sports site Rivals.com. The news is available due to what seems to be a publishing timing error on an Associated Press story by an Austrian web publication.

Yahoo is describing the deal as Jerry Yang’s first as CEO, though recently ousted CEO Terry Semel’s regime had initiated discussions. Financial terms are not being disclosed. It’s clear Yahoo is trying to move forward with normal activities, but this is not going to displace scrutiny of its rearranged management and reported complicated partial sales talks with News Corp.

Rivals.com runs a subscription business, charging $10 to $100 per month to 185,000 subscribers. Its peak traffic was 2.57 million visitors last September at the kickoff of college football season, according to comScore figures cited by the AP. Yahoo’s sports section, second in the category to ESPN.com, had 15.1 million visitors last month.

The AP notes that News Corp, which Yahoo is in those complicated transaction discussions with, owns Rivals.com competitor Scout.com.

TechCrunch had previously published a story saying the acquisition was being held up due to its CEO Shannon Terry’s alleged involvement in securities fraud; it later published another story when the CEO’s legal team threatened suit. According to the AP, Terry “will be retained by Yahoo.”

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