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Tribune’s Gracenote Buys Trio of Sports-Data Firms for $54 Million

Gracenote, Tribune Media’s entertainment metadata division, has acquired three sports-information companies — SportsDirect, Infostrada Sports and sports-betting info provider Covers Media Group — for a total of $54 million.

With the deals, Gracenote is positioning itself as a unique one-stop shop for data spanning music, TV, movies and sports to customers worldwide.

“The acquisition of Infostrada Sports and SportsDirect will immediately position Gracenote to take a leadership role in the growing sports-entertainment data market and will make Gracenote the only company to deliver a portfolio of music, video and sports data,” Gracenote CEO John Batter said.

Batter declined to break out what Gracenote paid for the individual companies.

SportsDirect, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, covers major U.S. sports leagues including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA, while Netherlands-based Infostrada Sports focuses on European soccer and the Olympics. Both provide schedules, scores, play-by-play stats, as well as team and player information. Ireland-based Covers Media operates Covers.com, a site stocked with sports scores and gambling odds along with industry news coverage.

Batter said Gracenote will deliver new products based on the sports data it now has access to. For example, the company expects to work with pay-TV operators to drive viewer tune-in by featuring scores and stats in their program guides. Gracenote also be able to deliver sports data as overlays in live sports programming on Internet-connected TVs and mobile devices, as well as deliver live alerts to automobile dashboards. In addition, Tribune plans to integrate the data from the sports providers across its 42 broadcast TV stations and related web sites.

Tribune acquired Gracenote last year from Sony for $170 million, and subsequently integrated Gracenote and the Tribune Media Services unit. Last fall, Emeryville, Calif.-based Gracenote paid $50 million for Baseline, a provider of TV and film production information to studios.

Gracenote’s customer base includes cable and satellite TV operators, consumer-electronics manufacturers and automakers.

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