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The announced purchased price is less than the $ 200 million Score CEO John Levy was reportedly seeking last year, but still more than double the firm’s market capitalization before news of a potential deal was first reported earlier this week in the Star.
Score Media, which is based in Toronto, has been reportedly shopping around its assets for about a year, with some reports suggesting that chief executive John Levy was hoping to sell for $ 200 million.
Its market capital as of the trading halt was $ 126 million.
The Score runs third place among rival Canadian sports channels TSN and Rogers Sportsnet. Once the deal receives regulatory approvals, the television network would be rebranded under the Sportsnet umbrella
Immediately prior to the acquisition, Score Media’s digital assets will be spun out to its existing shareholders, with Rogers Media retaining a 10 per cent equity interest in the digital media business. Rogers Media will also have access to Score Media’s digital technology to immediately enhance its mobile offerings.
The sports network is well-known among sports fans for its mobile apps, which offer real-time scores and statistics. The company has credited its fast-growing mobile platform for much of the revenue growth it has seen in the past year.
Those prospects could be especially appealing to a company like Rogers, which owns a slate of television and radio stations, as well as a wireless division for smartphones, the devices that most commonly use apps.
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“From Rogers perspective this is making certain I think that that can offer advertisers an equivalent product to CTV’s,” he said.
“And it means that Rogers now has a mobile application in this space, which they didn’t have before, and that gives them one more product to sell to advertisers and it gives them the capacity to offer integrated bundles of media that it maybe didn’t have before.”
Wong said in order to drive more revenue from data usage on its smartphones, Rogers will want to expand Score’s capabilities, not just post scores, but add more editorial content, Rogers Sportsnet personalities, highlights of games or sportscasts.
Rogers has repeatedly said its strategy is to make as much content as possible available to viewers on screens of all sizes.
“Rogers Media is on a growth trajectory and this builds on our momentum of delivering world-class sports content anywhere, any time, on any platform,” Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media, said in a statement.
At Score Media’s annual meeting in January, Levy said he was optimistic about the future of the company’s mobile apps.
“Our new businesses in the next three to five years we estimate to exceed revenue generated by television,” he said at the time.
“The interesting thing about this growth is that 60 per cent of all this growth is coming from outside Canada, where no one’s ever really heard of the Score TV network.”
Last year, the company acquired 20 per cent of NuLayer, the developer of its iPhone and iPad apps, in part of an effort to grow its mobile business.