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SBD/August 7, 2012/Media
Turner Finalizes Bleacher Report Acquisition, Giving Site Access To Content, Personalities
Published August 7, 2012
MONEY MAKER? Grey and Levy "would not discuss whether Bleacher Report, which started in 2008, is profitable." In N.Y., Richard Sandomir noted Turner will "use its sportscasters, like Charles Barkley and Cal Ripken, to help Bleacher Report" (NYTIMES.com, 8/6). In San Jose, Owens & Delevett noted Bleacher Report co-Founders -- Dave Finocchio, Bryan Goldberg, Dave Nemetz and Zander Freund -- have “worked to legitimize the site in the past few years, pulling in at least $39 million worth of venture capital and hiring executives from larger, more established properties” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/7).
WIN-WIN: MARKET WATCH's Jon Friedman wrote, “After years of neglecting its sports-journalism franchise, Time Warner is trying to compete against the juggernaut known as ESPN. … ESPN is so far ahead of the sports pack that Time Warner’s acquisition may resemble a pop-gun taking on a bazooka. But at least Time Warner appears to be trying to narrow the gap. Now, if it can devote ample resources to boosting the Sports Illustrated brand, it will have an even stronger presence” (MARKETWATCH.com, 8/6). Levy said that the site will "help Turner offer advertisers more ways to reach a desired demographic." The WALL STREET JOURNAL's John Jannarone cited comScore figures that reported Bleacher Report "had 10.1 million unique visitors in June, up from 7.9 million a year earlier." That places the site "in the top 10 sports sites" (WSJ.com, 7/6). PAID CONTENT’s Jeff John Roberts wrote the news is “a crowning moment for the four high school friends who built the upstart sports site by drawing on legions of rapid fans who offer reams of free content about their favorite teams.” The acquisition for Time Warner will “strengthen sports content of its Turner Networks at a time when consumers continue to show an almost insatiable appetite for sports media” (PAIDCONTENT.org, 8/6). ADWEEK's Charlie Warzel wrote Bleacher Report's "extensive array of fan-centric sports coverage will no doubt flesh out Turner's digital footprint in the sports community after it ceded digital platform control to both the PGA Tour and NASCAR earlier in the year" (ADWEEK.com, 8/6).