Yahoo buys sports website Rivals.com

Web content purchase represents first major business decision of new chief executive Jerry Yang.

In an attempt to bolster the content side of its business, and the first sign of change at the company, Yahoo acquired the US sports website, Rivals.com, a site dedicated to reporting on popular university and high school sports. The financial terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed.

This is the first business deal carried out by Yahoo's new chief executive, Jerry Yang, since he took over the reigns at the company he co-founded.

Yahoo Sports currently covers mostly US national sports, but this purchase is expected to fill the void left by the small amount of college sports coverage and could potentially draw in a larger and younger audience.

"Among the more than half billion people who touch the Yahoo brand every month, we find that sports fans are among the most passionate. We're now best-positioned to serve this important audience in the US," said Scott Moore, senior vice president and head of news and information at Yahoo.

In 2006 Rivals.com generated more than 3.5 billion page views and reached about two million readers each month. The site has more than 180,000 active subscribers and is quickly growing, making it a potentially lucrative advertising revenue generator for Yahoo as well as being another way to cross-promote Yahoo services to a young, affluent user community that is being targeted by the likes of Google and social networking sites such as Facebook.

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