SportsLine Bulks Up Database With Sandbox Buy

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In another consolidation among Internet-only players, SportsLine.com Inc., publisher of CBS SportsLine.com, has agreed to buy Sandbox.com Inc., a major producer of online fantasy sports products.


SportsLine.com will offer 1.6 million shares of common stock and a maximum $1 million for all outstanding shares of Sandbox.com.


Already approved by shareholders of both companies, the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.


The acquisition will give SportsLine.com access to more than 5 million Sandbox.com users who registered to participate in fantasy sports, sweepstakes and arcade and play-for-fun games.


"This is an extremely complementary acquisition that will enable SportsLine to accelerate its database marketing efforts and further diversify our revenue base," Michael Levy, CEO of SportsLine.com, said in a statement.


Media Metrix, part of Jupiter Media Metrix, consistently ranks Sandbox.com among the top 20 Web sites in terms of duration and stickiness, which determines the time spent per unique user each month.


Sandbox.com will continue its relationships with CNNSI.com and Turner Sports Interactive, plus licensing deals with sports bodies including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Football League Players Association and the National Hockey League Players Association.


A media company based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, SportsLine.com boasts content with more than 1 million pages of multimedia sports information, merchandise and entertainment. Besides its flagship sports service at cbs.sportsline.com, SportsLine.com publishes the official sites of the NFL and PGA Tour. It also has ties with the NBA and MLB and is the main content provider for America Online and Netscape.


Sandbox.com's stickiness was a key attraction for SportsLine.com.


"Fantasy players are very loyal, active and tend to spend more time on the Internet than the average user, and Sandbox's users clearly fit that mold," Levy said in the statement. "This deal will add significant additional sponsorship and direct marketing opportunities for SportsLine."


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