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Sports.com buys Megastar

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Sports.com has bought the Megastar web site from United Business Media for an undisclosed sum.

'Undisclosed' these days suggests (too us, anyway):'embarrassingly little".

Sports.com reckons it is the leading supplier of online sports info in Europe, but it is it operating in a very overcrowded marketplace and it is difficult to assess such a claim.

However, it will be able to run Megastar more cheaply than UBM - it already has most of the content - and it will be able to save a few pennies on staff as it takes over advertising and production.

Also it adds half a million sports-mad readers and 14 million page imps (sticky site, eh?) a month to the three million readers it claims for its existing web site.

United Business Media retained Megastar when it sold its newspaper interests last year to pornographer Richard Desmond. Combining soft-focus porn and lots of sports information, Megastar is nevertheless, slightly more upmarket than The Star, the tawdry tabloid whence it was spawned.

So why sell now? Maybe Megastar was not such a jewel to UBM after all, and certainly, in the light of market conditions for consumer web sites, Desmond was right to not even want to buy it. ®

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