Turner Sports is preparing to announce this afternoon it has purchased S.F.-based online sports destination Bleacher Report
, according to industry sources. Confirming several months of industry speculation, Turner's purchase of the six-year-old site adds a prominent, general-interest property to the media giant's online portfolio, particularly after the recently announced departures of NASCAR, SI and the PGA Tour to pursue more self-controlled digital strategies. Sources said Turner paid around $175M for Bleacher Report
, a figure below the oft-rumored $200M but still far above the $98M Yahoo paid in '07 for Rivals.com that had been the industry record for the acquisition of an American pure-play online sports site. Nearly $39M has been invested in Bleacher Report
through various venture capital rounds, including a massive $22M round nearly a year ago. Bleacher Report
ranked ninth in the June comScore rankings of U.S. online sports sites, the most recent figures available, with 10.1 million unique visitors. Turner Sports Digital ranked sixth with 14.8 million uniques.