Yahoo keeps Rivals.com close

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Yahoo Inc. said Thursday that it has acquired Rivals.com, an online college and high school sports network.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but several published reports pegged the price at $100 million.

Rivals is a network of 150 Web sites that receive an aggregate of about 2 million visitors each month, Yahoo said. The sites focus mainly on basketball and football and offer recruiting information, message boards and other editorial content.

"Among the more than half-billion people who touch the Yahoo brand every month, we find that sports fans are among the most passionate," said Scott Moore, senior vp and head of news and information at Yahoo. "We're now best-positioned to serve this audience in the U.S."

Yahoo hopes that the Rivals purchase will complement its current sports offering, which focuses mainly on national stories and fantasy games, bringing what the company calls "an engaged and highly educated" consumer to the site. The portal plans to explore revenue and advertising opportunities by tapping into the dedicated communities of high school and college sports fans who are associated with Rivals.

This deal comes days after Yahoo announced a restructuring of its top executive level. Co-founder Jerry Yang took over as CEO, replacing Terry Semel, and former CFO Sue Decker was named president (HR 6/19). Semel will stay with the company as an adviser and nonexecutive chairman.
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