ESPN (NYSE: DIS) is buying Racing-Live.com, an independent motorsports site founded way back in 1995. Racing-Live.com claims three million monthly uniques and has four sites - F1-Live.com, Moto-Live.com, Rally-Live.com and Raid-Live.com - covering F1, Moto GP, superbikes, rally, sports cars and karting. It was started by Montpellier-based racing fan Michel Marvie - who first began publishing motorosport news to France's Minitel in the 80s - and has grown to offer live race updates and news in English, French, Japanese, Italian, German and Spanish.
For ESPN, this is another acquisition of a sport-specific indie publisher, following the earlier purchases of Cricinfo and Scrum.com. ESPN International EVP Russell Wolff said the acquisition would complement its Nascar and vintage car TV coverage. Who'd bet against inclusion of results on Scorecenter, too?
As well as editorial, Racing-Live.com also offers premium-rate video highlights. According to Racing-Live.com, the sites will retain their identity but: "Moving closer to a major strategic organisation of international dimension was essential in order to continue the adventure at an ever-higher level."
ESPN parent Disney's interactive unit has also purchased RaisingKids.co.uk, a parenting advice site started by child psychologist Dr Pat Spungin in 2001, to add to its portfolio of sites including UKFamily.co.uk. The site claims over 142,000 monthly uniques and over 100,000 registered users. Neither purchase price was disclosed.
By Robert Andrews