Thursday, March 28, 2013

Perform Group plc teams up with Advance Publications division to create new media company for Sporting News

One of the first interviews conducted here at TNM was with the the new president and publisher of Sporting News Jeff Price. At the time, SN was trying to line-up new partnerships and to experiment with new digital publishing platforms. Near the end of last year the publisher announced that it would end the print publications after 126 years of publishing.

"Having spoken with many of our longtime subscribers, we recognize this is not a popular decision among our most loyal fans," Jeff Price and Garry D. Howard wrote on the Sporting News website at the time. "Unfortunately, neither our subscriber base nor the current advertising market for print would allow us to operate a profitable print business going forward."

Today came word that American City Business Journals Inc., the division of Advance Publications that has owned Sporting News, has entered into an agreement with Perform Group plc to form a new media company that will manage the title: Perform Sporting News Limited.

"Perform Sporting News Limited brings together Perform's US and Canadian consumer and advertising businesses including ePlayer, the leading sports video platform, Goal, the world's largest football website and the digital assets of ACBJ's consumer web division Sporting News, which includes, one of the largest sports websites in the US," the announcement stated.

"We are excited to announce this partnership between Perform and ACBJ, which brings together the leading provider of online sports video and one of the US's flagship sports media brands,: Oliver Slipper, joint CEO of Perform, said. "Perform Sporting News Limited is a fantastic opportunity to significantly scale and transform our business in the US and Canada, two of the world's largest and most advanced digital marketplaces, to become a major player in these territories. Together, we will bring the best news, editorial, video and data content of professional and College Sports to millions of sports fans in the US and Canada and provide advertisers with a complete digital sports offering across the web and mobile and across both video and display."

The new media company is owned 65% by Perform and 35% by Advance's ACBJ unit. Perform is kicking in $1.4 million, while ACBJ is kicking in $4.2 million. There are some other legal agreements which were outlined on the Perform Group website.

The managing director of Perform Sporting News Limited will be Juan Delgado, currently the managing director of Perform's Americas business. Jeff Price, will stay on as president of Perform Sporting News Limited, with responsibility for integration, product innovation and advertising sales.