As reported for most of yesterday, and confirmed early this morning, The Score has been bought by Rogers Communications for $167-million. This will give Rogers control of The Score television network, but only a 10% stake in The Score’s digital properties including it’s website and blogs, and it’s extremely popular Score Mobile and ScoreFC mobile apps.
The Score has been up for sale for a while now, and had been looking for around $200-million as a good purchase price. Though, with an increasing debt and dwindling ownership of sports-rights properties, that mark seemed like, and was, a far reach. The sale also includes a $12-million investment from Rogers in Score Digital, which includes having access to their digital and mobile offerings.
The Score has always run a distant third behind Canadian behemoths TSN and Sportsnet. This has been even more prevalent in the past year or two as The Score lost rights to such properties as the English Premier League, Serie A, and Toronto Raptors, and on-screen personnel such as Brendan Dunlop and veterans Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro.
Courtesy of Globe & Mail media reporter Steve Ladurantaye, here are some other brief notes on the deal:
- The Score will be rebranded as a Sportsnet property, with no word on the format of the new channel, and what will happen in regard to the sports rights that The Score currently holds (eg: WWE, NCAA football). They will also takeover Score HQ on King Street.
- Rogers will also takeover The Score’s closed captioning service as well as ownership of their MMA franchise, The Score Fighting Series.
- The Score has around 250 employees. Score Digital will keep 50 staff, with the rest either being used at Rogers or let go.
These days, I rarely find myself watching The Score anymore. When I first moved to Toronto just over three years ago, I found myself liking their programming as a solid alternative to TSN and Sportsnet with shows like Score Tonight, Morency, and The Footy Show. When Tim and Sid jumped ship to greener pastures, and The Footy Show was taken off the air as a weekly show, that was pretty much the point where I had no reason to tune in, other than occasional morning highlights. Now, I pretty much just settle for posts and podcast downloads from The Footy Show and The Basketball Jones guys.