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Viacom signs on the dotted SportsLine

Company will operate as division of CBS Sports

Viacom on Friday completed its purchase of SportsLine.com, paying about $50 million for the 62% of the company it did not already own.

Under the deal, approved at a special SportsLine.com stockholders meeting Friday, public shareholders will receive $1.75 in cash per share for their stock in the online sports news company, which operates the CBS SportsLine Web site.

The company will operate as a division of CBS Sports, reporting to prexy Sean McManus.

“We’re extremely pleased to officially welcome SportsLine into the Viacom CBS family,” McManus said. “With this acquisition now complete, we can move ahead full force in integrating SportsLine.com’s rich, comprehensive Internet content into the framework of CBS Sports.”

During the dot-com boom, CBS largely avoided creating its own Internet operations, instead partnering with such sites as SportsLine and MarketWatch to create co-branded Web sites.

Net is beginning to consolidate control over those operations and is reported to be in discussions to purchase all of MarketWatch, the company that operates financial news Web sites including CBS MarketWatch.com. Viacom already owns 22% of MarketWatch.

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