Yahoo buys sports network, Rivals.com

Yahoo is expected to announce tomorrow that it has agreed to acquire Rivals.com, an Web site focused on college and high school basketball, football and baseball.

The property, priced by unconfirmed reports at about $100 million, will be wrapped into Yahoo Sports, where it competes with ESPN.com, Foxsports.com and others. The New York Times has more details here.

Rivals, of Nashville, TN, had 1.4 million visitors in May, and was the 19th most visited sports site, according to comScore, but its audience has declined 14 percent from a year ago. Rivals.com said it had 185,000 subscribers who pay $100 a year, giving it about $18 million in annual revenue — making this a relatively small transaction.

Rivals had struggled over the years. After the bust in 2001, its assets were sold to AllianceSports, which took over its name. Rivals raised about $80 million in venture capital and other financing from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Intel, News Corp. and others.

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