05 August 2007
This is not new content but rather something I wrote about a month ago.... I wrote it for message board and my post was later quoted in an article about the acquisition. If you are not familiar with rivals.com, its a network of team specific fan websites. Scout.com is their only real competition and they were purchased by Fox in the days after Fox's myspace acquisition. Scout.com has some serious financial and legal issues right now. The below was my analysis+reaction that this was yahoo's attempt to get back at google.
"Yahoo and Google are two big movers and shakers in the valley but they are competing less and less.
Google stole the internet search engine market from yahoo and has branched off many different business units successfully. They are looking to get more into software, applications, and online tools. Yahoo is still in their sights, but they are gravitating more towards competing with Microsoft. Google doesn't create a lot of its own content but just shrewdly makes money off its uncanny efficiency to organize information.
Yahoo on the other hand is redefining itself as the leading online media and services company. In the sports world they have been breaking a lot of stories (Reggy Bush house story for example).
Yahoo offers more robust services that are considered web 2.0 like fantasy sports, a music store, flickr (photo sharing), finance, and real estate.
I use a lot yahoo resources but google has the better and more defined business model.
As for the acquisition, I think it will mix it up a lot. I believe a decent amount of Rivals content was being syndicated on yahoo sports so yahoo does know what they are buying. Yahoo sports is continuing to grow and are doing some pretty solid work, but is anyone noticing and are they making money?
By buying Rivals yahoo will be able to absorb multiple passionate fan bases, to its growing sports reporting network. Fox hasn't really done much with Scout, and the fact the big ten network and college football news is under the Fox umbrella makes you think what their move will be if Scout continues to implode.
Yahoo has been pretty shrewd with its acquisitions and synergy between business segments so I could see the rivals purchase helping out in a couple of areas (fantasy sports, search engine market share, yahoo travel, maps) and maybe putting more umph to rivals breaking into television.
Another thing to be aware of is the rumor that Fox might sell /trade myspace to yahoo for 25% stake in yahoo. Wowsers.
While Scout and Rivals never were able to make $$ or reach a sustainable level for IPO, both were able to do enough to attract big name buyers who clamored at the idea of owning a network of passionate fan bases who need their team's coverage like a drug.
I look for Fox owned Scout to continue to bleed death as the actual websites are god awful. I am not talking about content but the actual look and design and message board usability is a pretty big turnoff. I mean just go to scout.com compared to rivals.com...HUGE difference. Its like scout doesnt even employ a web designer.
Yahoo and rivals should be interesting. Keep in mind this is yahoos new ceo's first move although this was in the works for awhile. Knowing this is now kind of attached to his name, he might be keeping a closer eye on this then you would imagine.