JumpTV buy continues sports push


TORONTO -- Canadian webcaster JumpTV on Tuesday said it has agreed to purchase Florida-based XOS Technologies' sports Web sites business for $60.25 million in cash.

Toronto-based JumpTV said it has bought a range of Web sites for U.S. college, university and other sporting properties that feature live and on-demand streaming video of sporting events and other content.

"Sports programming on JumpTV is consistently amongst our most-watched content. Adding the expertise of the XOS Network will accelerate our ability to obtain rights to important international sporting properties," JumpTV chairman and CEO Scott Paterson said.

The deal follows a continuing diversification by the webcaster from its base in ethnic programming into sports properties.

In late June, JumpTV unveiled a separate deal to stream FIFA World Cup soccer matches in Canada through 2014.

The latest deals follow JumpTV in mid-June responding to shareholder criticism that it had amassed a war chest of about $100 million for acquisitions, but had yet to unveil any deals.

Following the XOS Technologies acquisition, JumpTV said it will fold its ethnic programming business and emerging sporting properties into a new division, JumpTV International.

JumpTV in recent years has moved from origins in streaming foreign-language TV channels for a subscription fee to distributing digital ethnic signals on regular TV sets.

The Canadian webcaster delivers about 235 ethnic TV channels from 70 countries to about 24,000 paid subscribers over the Internet, half of which are in the U.S. market.

Most recently, JumpTV has partnered with cable and satellite TV services that already retransmit foreign-language channels from around the world to reach ethnic audiences beyond their footprints. For example, Philadelphia-based cable operator Comcast earlier this year began offering JumpTV to 10 million high-speed Internet subscribers.