In a move that’s shaking up the sports blogosphere, Fox Sports has announced that it’s purchasing the Yardbarker sports blog network. Fang’s Bites is part of the Big Lead Sports network that’s operated by Fantasy Sports Ventures.
Included in Yardbarker’s network are Big League Screw, Black Sports Online, Sports Media Watch, and SportsbyBrooks. It’s a wide-ranging blog network that signed a low-key content deal with Fox Sports two years ago.
Today, that deal went nine steps forward with the announcement that Fox has purchased Yardbarker outright. We have the press release for you.
FOX SPORTS INTERACTIVE MEDIA ACQUIRES YARDBARKERWorld’s Largest Sports Blog Network in FOX Sports FoldLos Angeles – FOX Sports Interactive Media (FSIM), the digital production and distribution arm of the FOX Sports Media Group, and home to FOXSports.com on MSN, the world’s second-most-visited sports Web site (26.2 monthly users, Aug. 2010), announced today that it has acquired Yardbarker, the largest network of sports blogs on the Web. The purchase was announced today by Jeff Husvar, Executive Vice President & General Manager of FSIM and Yardbarker CEO Peter Vlastelica. The Yardbarker operation remains in its current San Francisco location, and continues to operate on a standalone basis. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.FSIM and Yardbarker already had a working relationship prior to closing the purchase yesterday. In Oct. 2009, the entities reached a multiyear sales and content arrangement that expanded a pre-existing content partnership.Yardbarker, with its 7.5 million average monthly users and strong management team, joins FOXSports.com, Scout.com, whatifsports.com and several sites belonging to FOX’s owned-and-operated regional sports networks. Yardbarker delivers an array of unique and diverse voices through independent blog content and athlete blogs, which complements FOXSports.com’s big event coverage and the niches serviced by Scout.com and whatifsports.com, while expanding the comprehensive local content provided by FOX’s regional sports networks.“Yardbarker brings unique content and a younger demographic to FSIM’s existing offerings, deepening our reach editorially,” said Husvar. “Blogging has changed the landscape of sports coverage on the Web, and Yardbarker is the best sports blogging network operating today. We need to have these bloggers and citizen journalists contributing to the discussion right alongside Jay Glazer, Mark Kriegel, Ken Rosenthal and Jason Whitlock, some of the most renowned sports columnists in the world.”
“We are thrilled to be officially joining the FOX Sports family, one of the best known brands in sports media,” said Vlastelica. “Sports commentary is shifting toward conversation and authenticity, and the talented bloggers in the Yardbarker Network, who number in the hundreds, deserve to have their voices heard by the masses — which clearly this acquisition ensures.”
I congratulate Pete Vlastelica, the CEO of Yardbarker, who worked very hard to make Yardbarker what it is today and it certainly gives us at Big Lead Sports some good competition.