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ESPN buys Aussie tipping site

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Global sports broadcasting network ESPN has acquired Australian online and mobile football community site footytips.com.au.

The footy tipping site was launched 12 years ago by university students Nathan Isterling and Heath Kilgour, who subsequently launched online media company ExtraCorp.

FootyTips was acquired by gaming giant Tattersalls in 2001, but was bought back by its original founders in 2007 and is ExtraCorp’s best known property.

The FootyTips platform currently powers AFL, NRL, Super 12 and special event tipping services for major Australian portals, including Yahoo!, OptusNet, Nova, and the AFL.com.au/Telstra partnership.

The site has over one million registered users and delivers over 50 million page impressions per month.

“We’re proud to share with you that this small team of passionate sports fans is now part of ESPN - the world’s largest sports media company. That means footytips join a team that has other great sites like ESPNcricinfo and ESPNsoccernet, two HD TV channels (ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD) and a broadband channel (ESPN3.com) in Australia already,” ExtraCorp said on its company blog.

The post did not disclose the sale price but it is believed to be between $AU2 and $AU4 million.

The FootyTips team which has a headcount of 15 will all retain their roles. “Rest assured, it’s business as usual for us - with the exception of committed ongoing resources from a company that shares our passion for sport and great digital products. Our focus will continue to be simple: deliver the best site for your footy tipping,” it added.

While ESPN has yet to detail its plans for the site, the platform is set to broadened for the larger global audience. There will be no changes existing community members login system or any other aspects of the tipping competition. ®

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