News Corp.’s ‘Net arm gathers stats

FoxSports.com scores with new database

News Digital Media, the interactive arm of parent News Corp., said Wednesday it has acquired privately held Stats Inc., a major supplier of sports scores, statistics and other analysis.

Financial terms for the deal were not disclosed, but the Stats database of sports scores and fantasy games will help position FoxSports.com against rivals CBS Sportsline.com and ESPN.com, offering Netizens real-time stats and other information not only online but on wireless devices, as well.

Stats stable stays

Members of Stats management, led by founder and CEO John Dewan and prexy Alan Leib, will maintain their current posts once the acquisition is completed in the next few months.

Subscribers to Stats’ sports scores and other content already include AOL, ESPN.com, CNNSI.com, Yahoo! Sports and MSNBC.com.

Besides providing a database of scores for NFL, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS, golf, auto racing, NCAA football and basketball and international soccer events, Stats also operates several fantasy sports games on its Web site.

“With the acquisition of Stats Inc., News Digital Media will gain full access to inhouse, differentiated sports statistics offerings that are applicable to multiple Fox properties, including FoxSports.com, Fox Sports and Fox Sports Net,” said Jon Richmond, prexy of News Digital Media.

“Our partnership with Stats adds to our already impressive arsenal of real-time sports information,” said Danny Greenberg, veep of FoxSports.com. “FoxSports.com not only offers up-to-the-minute scores and reporting, but now boasts the most extensive archive of historical sports information available anywhere.”

Stats generates much of its revenues from advertising, subscriber fees and the publishing of sports reference books, digests and fantasy game magazines, including a two-volume, “All-Time Major League Handbook” and “All-Time Baseball Sourcebook” and “Stats Fantasy Insider” magazine.

News Digital Media operates FoxNews.com, FoxSports.com, FoxMarketwire.com and Fox.com and handles News Corp.’s investments in the online space, including stakes in WebMD, thestreet.com, Juno and Yupi.com.

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