CBS Sports and SportsLine USA Announce Strategic Alliance
"CBS SportsLine" Launches Today
New York (March 5, 1997) -- CBS Sports and SportsLine USA have joined forces to
create CBS SportsLine, the nation's premier online media service devoted exclusively to
sports information, entertainment, and merchandise. The announcement was made today
by Peter A. Lund, president and chief executive officer, CBS Television and Cable
Group; Sean McManus, president, CBS Sports, and Michael Levy, president and chief
executive officer, SportsLine USA.
The multi-year agreement marks the first time that CBS Inc. has taken an equity position in an Internet content company. The arrangement begins as CBS Sports heads into exclusive broadcast coverage of The NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, the first CBS Sports event that will be featured by CBS SportsLine.
Under the terms of the agreement, CBS will receive 22 percent of SportsLine USA's equity in exchange for advertising and promotion on the CBS Television Network and CBS sports-related content. SportsLine USA will change the address of its Internet site to http://cbs.sportsline.com.
In addition, CBS will have the option, but not the obligation, to increase its equity holding to 33 percent of SportsLine USA over the term of the agreement.
"This partnership is a vital first step in CBS's strategy to develop a broad-based Internet service for the CBS Television Network and its affiliates," said Lund. "It moves CBS further into the world of New Media."
"CBS Sports is now a dominant presence on the Internet," said McManus. "Aligning ourselves with SportsLine USA, leaders in the sports online industry, is a key step in our sports expansion strategy. The CBS SportsLine partnership combines the promotional power, skills and assets of CBS with an innovative and enterprising online business. The alliance promises to bring both companies to the forefront of sports online services."
"The CBS SportsLine partnership has been forged to create the most comprehensive and compelling sports entity on the Internet," said Levy. "CBS Sports has a rich broadcast heritage coupled with visionary leadership. Combining this vision with the most dynamic and exciting company on the Web will propel CBS SportsLine to be number one in the interactive sports world."
With the advent of CBS SportsLine, CBS Sports has a new promotional vehicle for its growing number of sports properties that includes NCAA Basketball and Football; the PGA Tour with, among many other tournaments, The Masters® and the PGA Championship; Auto Racing including the Daytona 500; the Budweiser Boxing Series; U.S. Open Tennis; and track and field including the World's Fastest Man Showdown. Through the partnership, CBS SportsLine also gains access to the information, archival, and production resources of CBS Sports.
CBS Sports' marquee event in the coming year will be coverage of the XVIII Olympic Winter Games from Nagano, Japan. CBS SportsLine will be a leading Internet source of information and entertainment prior to and throughout the Games. Innovative advertising techniques will be implemented as heavy sampling by new users is expected.
SportsLine USA was founded by Michael Levy in 1994. It features more than 100,000 pages of multimedia sports information and entertainment covering all major collegiate and professional sports. Programming includes exclusive editorials by nationally- acclaimed writers; award-winning, real-time animated baseball and football coverage via "virtual stadiums"; real-time chat sessions with sports legends; a merchandise superstore; and the only all-sports radio station on the Internet. In addition to being the official online service of NFL Players, Inc., The FedEx Orange Bowl, The U.S. Ski Team and the WPVA, spokespersons and advisors include: Joe Namath, Mike Schmidt, Arnold Palmer, Shaquille O'Neal, Jerry Rice, Bill Walton, Keyshawn Johnson, Gabrielle Reece, Peter Sampras, Monica Seles, Cal Ripken, Wayne Gretzky, and Joe Montana.
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