SBD/August 27, 2012/Media

Rogers Communications Completes Deal For The Score For C$167M

Rogers Communications bought Score Media Inc. Friday for $167M (all figures C) in a deal that will see the communications giant "take control of the scrappy network’s television properties but give it only a small stake of The Score’s growing mobile apps business,” according to Steve Ladurantaye of the GLOBE & MAIL. Rogers said that it "won't own the digital division," but it's 10% stake "would allow it full access to the platforms for use with its own brands” (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/25). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin writes “when the sale was confirmed, it ended one of the longest guessing games in Canadian broadcast history,” as the network “was supposedly being pursued by CBC, Rogers, Bell and other communications firms.” Score Media President & CEO John Levy reportedly wanted $200M for the purchase, but “eventually the price was $138-million plus a $12-million investment in The Score’s digital technology.” Rogers will acquire The Score’s 6.6 million subscribers “generating approximately $45-million of annual subscription and advertising revenues” (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/27). The GLOBE & MAIL's Ladurantaye writes Rogers now “must figure out how the edgy television network fits into the company’s broader strategy to expand its sports offerings.” Rogers Media President Keith Pelley: “What we get with The Score is a service that is almost exclusively about sports news and information and has loyal fans in a younger demographic.” Ladurantaye notes that The Score’s license limits it to 15% live content, or about one live game per day, “and those games must be interrupted for sports news updates every 15 minutes.” The Score has "dozens of bloggers who provide content for its website and digital apps," and they will "stay with the company." Rogers convinced Levy to "part with the television network," leaving Levy with 90% of the company's "unprofitable digital division." Score Media will keep The Score's "identity -- including its stable of bloggers and programmers -- and be spun into a separate company that is expected to start trading on the Canadian Venture Exchange by winter” (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/27).
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