Feeds

Sports.com goes titsup.com

Isn't this supposed to be a winner

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

"Our attitude has been to be the last man standing at the end." Gavin Chittick, COO Sports.com, November 2001

Sports.com, Europe's biggest sports web property, has placed its UK operations into administration on Friday morning (May 31).

The business will operate as a going concern during the World Cup, but this will require the co-operation of suppliers, staff and customers, administrator Bruce Mackay of Baker Tilly told The Guardian.

He attributed Sport.com's woes to falling advertising revenues and high fixed costs, resulting in a cash flow crisis.

Sports.com also operates in France, Germany, Italy and Spain and none of these businesses are currently in administration. Sports.com is heavily backed by VCs, securing $13m in its last funding round.

Last year, Forrester predicted the survival of just three UK online sports operations - Sports.com, The BBC and Sky. The latter is not a significant Web presence, but it has the money and the TV and the sports rights, so it could be a player.

The UK sports web site scene grew very rapidly in the late 90s, on the back of big VC bucks. In the last year or so there has been a lot of consolidation. In November, for instance, Chrysalis and 365 hived off their respective online sports operations into a separate, independent business.

In recent months, some of the stronger players have come from the online betting scene. Last week, for example, UKBetting made an agreed bid £13.7m for Teamtalk.com, after a brief hostile tussle. And last November, the online bookie bought Sportal, valued at its peak at $170m, for £1 (and £190K for technology). It also bought Sportinglife.com (Until the Racing Post came along Sporting Life was the punters' paper) from Trinity Mirror for £2.

Betting appears to be the most important money spinner now for sports sites, with traditional advertising and syndication revenues bleeding away.

Online advertising revenues for sports sites are weak and valuations have tumbled. Sports.com last year bought sports and tits site Megastar.co.uk for a reputed £50,000.

Low advertising was not necessarily such a problem: several of the bigger sports businesses relied heavily upon income from contract publishing and syndication deals. TeamTalk, 365, and Sports.com are examples of this. But this kind of business requires lots of staff and that means high fixed overheads. When the contracts dry up, the overheads remain - until the next round of job cuts. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.