SBD/Morning Buzz

Perform Group, ACBJ Launch Joint Venture Around Sporting News

Perform Group Plc and American City Business Journals this morning announced a major joint venture to combine Perform's U.S. sports assets, including its popular ePlayer sports video service, with ACBJ's Sporting News brand. The new company, Perform Sporting News Limited, will operate under the brand name of Sporting News Media and likely become one of the top five digital sports media properties in the U.S., blending the ePlayer video syndication that provides highlights to more than 250 news outlets, and soccer portal Goal.com with Sporting News’ portfolio of assets, including SportingNews.com. The U.K.-based Perform will own 65% of the new entity and serve as majority owner, with ACBJ holding a 35% share.

The deal will further solidify Perform in the U.S. Its ePlayer, in less than four years of domestic operation after an initial run in England, has assembled online highlight rights to nearly every major U.S. pro sports property including the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL, and distributes the content to major news outlets including Gannett, the N.Y. Daily News and L.A. Times, among others. The addition of Sporting News brings a large array of news and sports data, as well as a mainstream consumer brand. For ACBJ, the deal represents another significant step in the ongoing transformation of Sporting News, which it purchased in '06.

ACBJ is the parent company of The Daily, SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily Global.
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