Viacom Purchases All of SportsLine.com

NEW YORK Viacom said today that it has agreed to buy the remaining shares of SportsLine.com for $1.75 a share or about $46 million. When the purchase closes later this year, the online property will become a subsidiary of Viacom.

The move comes as no surprise, since Viacom, which already owns a 38-percent equity share in SportsLine.com, expressed its intent to strike a deal about a month ago. Viacom collaborates with SportsLine.com in selling advertising and promotes the Web site through its various media properties.

“This acquisition complements our strategy of expanding Viacom’s presence in what has become the fastest growing advertising sector,” said Les Moonves, co-president and co-COO at New York-based Viacom.

Sean McManus, president at CBS Sports, said the deal would allow Viacom to integrate Web content with CBS Sports’ franchises such as the National Football League, College Basketball’s Final Four, US Open Tennis and the PGA Tour. “It presents tremendous possibilities for our advertisers and consumers,” McManus said.

A special committee of SportsLine.com’s board of directors has given its blessing to the deal, but it still needs shareholder approval.