Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rogers buys Score Media, taking a larger share of sports specialty networks

Rogers Communications is hoovering up more bandwidth and more market share with the forthcoming purchase of Score Media Inc., the specialty television network that has been on the block for about a year. According to a story in the Globe and Mail, the deal is worth about $167 million, somewhat less than the owners were hoping for. Rogers will pay $1.62 a share, or $138-million for the television network,  also assume about $13-million in debt and invest $12-million in The Score‚Äôs standalone digital media business.
Score Media would thereby join a television and publishing family that includes not only the Blue Jays, but Sportsnet and its eponymous magazine. And the announced deal come as Rogers closes the deal to become part owner of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Leafs and the Raptors. Between it and its partner Bell Media, they would now control the three largest sports broadcasters in the country. 
The Score goes to 7 million subscribers in mid-tier cable and satellite packages. The company has been striving to make money in the mobile offerings; even though it has more than 3 million unique visitors to its apps on the Blackberry and iPhone the increase in digital revenue hasn't bridged the gap between costs and revenues. Rogers is only buying a 10% share in the mobile apps part of the business, enough to give it access to promote its own properties on handheld devices and smartphones.
The Rogers deal for Score Media is part of a breakneck consolidation of sports-related content and programming. Bell is in the midst of trying to buy Astral Media for $3 billion.


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