Metacafe Acquires Action Sports

Online video hub Metacafe has acquired Action Sports Inc., a company which produces and streams live fringe sporting events on the Web. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

At the center of the deal is Action Sports’ Go211.com, which showcases sports such as BMX, skateboarding and competitive Blackjack. According to the analytics firm Compete, Go211’s audience peaked earlier this year at close to 2.7 million unique users, before landing at 1.5 million uniques in July.

According to sources, as a result of the Action Sports deal, Metacafe expects to double its revenues next year and reach profitability.

As part of the deal, Action Sports CEO Sean Aruda will assume the role of Chief Revenue Officer at Metacafe.

While Go211.com will continue to exist as a stand alone Web destination, Metacafe plans to utilize Go211’s video content within its own soon-to-launch sports channel. Besides action sports, Metacafe plans to tap into Go211’s live event experience to produce more original content for its movies, TV and video game coverage, said officials.

The planned sports channel launch is part of an ongoing reinvention of Metacafe—which just a few years ago was a repository for user-generated videos.

But instead of chasing YouTube, the company has shifted in recent years to concentrate on professional content aimed at 18-34 year olds, particularly entertainment. In fact, Metacafe now regularly sends reporters to movie premieres, and conducts exclusive interviews with celebrities and filmmakers.