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Rogers scores sports network for $167M

Mon, 08/27/2012 - 3:10pm
Mike Robuck

On Saturday, Rogers Communications announced it was plunking down $167 million to buy Score Media.

Once the deal is finalized, Rogers will wholly own theScore Television Network and related assets, which will be a significant content boost to its existing Sportsnet assets.

The deal for Score Media didn’t include its digital media business, including theScore.com website and mobile applications. Immediately prior to the acquisition, Score Media's digital assets will be spun out to its existing shareholders, with Rogers Media retaining a 10 percent equity interest in the digital media business. Rogers Media will also have access to Score Media's digital technology to bolster its mobile offerings.

Score Media owns theScore Television Network, closed captioning service Voice to Visual, and mixed martial arts promotion The Score Fighting Series, as well as the digital media business being spun out to its shareholders.

"We continue to pursue opportunities to engage, expand and enhance the experience for sports fans. Rogers Media is on a growth trajectory, and this builds on our momentum of delivering world-class sports content anywhere, anytime, on any platform," said Rogers Media President Keith Pelley. "The Score is a tremendous sports service that offers a distinct flavor of premium, niche programming that fits squarely within our strategy of delivering highly sought-after content to Canadians."

In Canada, theScore is the third largest specialty sports channel, with 6.6 million television subscribers generating approximately $45 million of annual subscription and advertising revenues and approximately $15 million of annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Consolidation has been afoot in Canada over the past few years. In 2010, Shaw Communications bought the Global television network and a 65 percent stake in Canwest.

Last week, rivals Rogers and BCE closed on their joint acquisition of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.

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