11 June 2007

Cricinfo bought by ESPN

This is the press release - I'm not entirely sure what my feelings are on this at the moment...will think about it and then post again!

ESPN and The Wisden Group today announced that they had agreed to terms for ESPN’s acquisition of Cricinfo, the world’s leading cricket website.

“Growing our business in the on-line world is vital for us to serve sports fans," said Russell Wolff, managing director of ESPN International. “Cricinfo is a tremendous property with a great fan base and it will be a strong addition to ESPN.”

Lynne Frank, managing director of ESPN, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Cricket has a huge worldwide following and Cricinfo has created a great product for cricket fans everywhere. The acquisition complements our growing online business and underlines the fact that ESPN is committed to serving a diverse fan base. We are delighted that Cricinfo has joined the ESPN family.”

The acquisition of Cricinfo enhances ESPN’s on-line portfolio, which includes ESPN.com - the U.S.’s premier online sports destination; ESPNdeportes.com - the number one Spanish-language sports website among Spanish-preferred fans in the U.S. and ESPNsoccernet.com - the world’s leading English-language football website.

Cricket lends itself perfectly to online coverage: the length of matches and the statistics-rich nature of the game combine to drive high global usage and build loyalty.

Wisden Group director Mark Getty, said: “Cricinfo has developed into a significant cricket brand in its own right, combining huge global popularity with strong commercial success. ESPN is a major sports broadcaster and international rights holder and will provide the perfect environment for Cricinfo to further realise its enormous potential. The Wisden Group will continue to focus on its Hawk-Eye sports technology business in cricket, tennis and a growing range of other sports.”

And Tom Gleeson, Managing Director of Cricinfo, added, “We have had a strong working relationship with ESPN for a number of years and we know how successful they are in providing innovative online sports content. We look forward to working with the ESPN team and drawing on its expertise in sports marketing and digital media.”

ESPN’s digital media initiatives combine to deliver an industry-leading combination of live and on-demand sports events; up-to-the-minute sports news and information; scores, statistics and analysis; extensive on-demand and downloadable video and audio programming; fantasy sports, and video games across Web, mobile and other non-linear platforms.

ESPN Digital media properties are leading sports destinations: online- (ESPN.com); mobile (wireless Web sports site mobile.espn.com); radio ( the most listened-to online sports radio destination ESPNRadio.com); the leading English-language Soccer news and information site (ESPNsoccernet.com); leading fantasy games that are played by millions of fans each year; one of the most successful premium content services on the Web (ESPN Insider); the most downloaded sports content on the iTunes Store, and a one-of-a-kind in-game content integration platform appearing in many of the most popular sports video games.