Tuesday, January 24, 2012

USAT | Sports Media adds Fantasy Sports Ventures

[Updated at 5:55 p.m. with new media reports details.]

USA Today Sports Media Group, the growing year-old division combining all of Gannett's sports content, said this morning that it had bought aggregator Fantasy Sports Ventures and Big Lead Sports.

Gannett had been a minority investor in the companies, Corporate disclosed in a news release. Terms, including a purchase price, weren't revealed.

But here's one measure of the deal's size: In 2010, FSV paid in the "low seven figures" just for The Big Lead blog itself, according to this New York Times story.

The news release says: "When all FSV assets are ultimately combined with the other properties within the USA Today Sports Media Group, the digital property is expected to become one of the top five sports sites on the web based on the most recent comScore metrics."

Media Group President Tom Beusse expects the acquisition to more than double traffic to the group, according to this Wall Street Journal story.

When he was hired in January 2011 to lead the group, the WSJ says, Beusse started by combining USAT's sports audience with that of GCI's more than 80 local newspapers and 23 broadcast TV stations, as well as sites such as HighSchoolSports.net.

"We were acting like 105 little companies instead of one big company," Beusse told the newspaper.

Founded six years ago
On its website, Fantasy Sports says:

"Since its founding in 2006, FSV has aggregated more than 600 owned and affiliated sites, providing distinctive coverage of football, baseball, basketball, auto racing, hockey, soccer, college sports, and fantasy sports. In December, 2009, FSV reached more than 15 million unique users according to comScore, placing the company in the top 5 among all U.S. sports sites."

Today's deal follows earlier moves by GCI and Sports Media to acquire low-cost content as it bulks up the fast-growing division launched in January 2011. Last year, for example, Sports Media bought US Presswire, a syndicator of sports photography.

Sports Media has been on a hiring spree in recent months, adding several vice presidents and senior vice presidents in editorial and sales.


  1. If it costs anything, fantasy sports afficiandos will stay away. Why pay when you can play for free? Same hold true for online news too Gracia.

  2. At least Beusse is making REAL things happen around here. The same can't be said for most others in leadership.

  3. True. He'll definitely be making more executive appointments happening. Three more vice presidents?

    When do we start seeing some financial breakouts on how this entity is doing? Ever? Meantime, how do we measure bottom line success? Rising web hits off of cheerleader cheesecake galleries?

  4. Yea he is a change agent. Let's see how his bottom line numbers come in a year from now. Heck, let's give him two. In three he'll be running the company. Then well see how corporate likes replying for their jobs.

    Weve seen wunderkind before. Heather Frank. Rudd Davis. Banikarim. Can anyone tell us how they've lifted us up from where we belong?


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