SportsLine.com Looks for a Rebound with NBA, WNBA Deals

Sports content firm Sportsline.com aims to rebound off its poor fortunes with a sizable deal announced Tuesday with the National Basketball Association and the Women’s National Basketball Association.

The multi-year partnership, of which financial terms were not disclosed, gives the site access to NBA/WNBA content, licensing rights, and sponsorships.

Through the deal, SportsLine.com will be able to present NBA video highlights, real-time scores and statistical information from NBA and WNBA games, and radio feeds from NBA games. SportsLine.com also lands the right to use NBA logos throughout its site.

SportsLine.com also will become a presenting sponsor of the daily, online-only broadcast of “The NBA Beat,” which is streamed live from NBA.com and SportsLine.com’s flagship site, CBS SportsLine.com.

“This relationship ensures … SportsLine.com users will continue to receive the best coverage of professional basketball anywhere, while the promotion on NBA.com allows us to expand the reach of our best-of-breed content,” said SportsLine.com founder and chief executive Michael Levy.

In return, SportsLine.com and its European affiliate Sports.com, will promote NBA.com and WNBA.com across their sites. The company will also produce a fantasy basketball game for NBA.com.

“This alliance is another way in which the NBA and WNBA are providing fans with greater access to our games, our teams and our players,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. “Our relationship with SportsLine.com … offers a variety of cross-promotional opportunities.”

SportsLine.com is hoping that the agreement — similarly to other strategic relationships it has with the NFL, Major League Baseball, and the PGA Tour — will boost its appeal to advertisers, and ultimately, in the public markets.

As a primarily ad-supported content site, SportsLine — like many pure content plays — has taken a pounding as the market contracted: the company, like competitor Quokka Sports, is trading at less than one-tenth of its 52-week high.

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