Television

News Corp, AP form sports JV in the US

MUMBAI: Media conglomerate News Corporation and news service provider The Associated Press have announced that they have formed a 50:50 joint venture in the US. Stats will produce sports data and content.

The joint venture will combine Stats, which is a sports information and statistical analysis company, owned by News Corp and MegaSports, AP’s multimedia sports service. Fox Networks Group president and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said, “The combination of AP MegaSports and Stats will create a one-stop shopping destination for organisations interested in providing the best and most comprehensive sports information and context to their consumers.”

Stats CEO Gary Walrath says, “It is a privilege and an exciting opportunity to combine forces with the award-winning sports journalism team at the AP. With the editorial content of MegaSports and the research data of Stats, we can offer superior sports coverage to our clients in the US and accelerate our rollout into international markets, including Asia, Australia and the UK.”

Walrath will serve as president and CEO of the new joint venture. He will report to a board equally comprising representatives from News Corp and AP. The company will retain Stats’ current headquarters in Chicago and its offices in Los Angeles.

AP and News Corp state that Stats will offer clients unrivalled customer service, technical proficiency and event coverage. The agreement leverages news produced by AP sports writers and photographers with Stats' in-depth statistics and historical databases to produce a complete package of sports information for new markets, both in the United States and internationally.

Stats will be the most prolific sports information source for several key business segments: professional teams; sports agents; sports broadcast production, cable and satellite networks; interactive television; broadband, wireless and internet; game developers and fantasy sports providers; print media and wire services. Packaging and sales of sports information for AP members will continue to be done at AP.

Meanwhile, Fox Interactive Media (Fim) will acquire Scout Media the parent company of Scout.com which is an independent online sports network, and Scout Publishing, producer of sports magazine 47. Fim states that the addition of Scout.com gives it one of the web’s stickiest sites with a loyal user base of more than two million unique users.

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