Bleacher Report Sold to Turner Sports

The rich get richer as Turner Broadcasting Systems has purchased Bleacher Report, a six year old sports news web site in a deal that has been estimated at being valued between $170 million and $200 million according to Forbes. Bleacher Report was founded in 2006 by four friends, Bryan Goldberg, Dave Finocchio, Zander Freund and Dave Nemetz. Three are still at the company but Freund left in 2009.

Turner said that it will use Bleacher Report as an additional outlet for its sports programming including highlight videos and breaking news. Turner has a vast spread of sports content and this will enabled to expand the scope of fans that it can reach.

Looking at different analytic tools shows that the site gets approximately 10 million unique viewers a month, although the total number of visitors including repeat, is significantly higher. Combine that with the other Turner properties that include the web sites for the NBA, NCAA and the PGA as well as a relationship with NASCAR as well means more potential upside for Bleacher Report.

Forbes points out that the new viewers that the deal brings in will nicely replace an almost identical number that it lost when Sports Illustrated bolted for a new corporate parent to host its web pages. Bleacher Report is also attractive because of its reach to mobile device users; according to the company thanks to innovations like its Team Stream app (which aggregates sports content from all over, not just from B/R writers) it was getting more than 40 percent of its audience through a mobile connection, a number that has likely since grown.

The merging of print and broadcast media with on-line and digital is getting more common it seems. The recent announcement of the creation of Sports on Earth site by Major League Baseball Advanced Media and USA Today being a very recent example of this trend.

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