Turner Acquires Bleacher Report

Reports say deal just south of $200 million

The San Francisco-based sports site Bleacher Report has been acquired by the broadcast arm of Turner for an undisclosed amount, according to reports. 

In June, Adweek confirmed the acquisition talks, which coincided with the digital split of Turner and the PGA Tour. Bleacher's extensive array of fan-centric sports coverage will no doubt flesh out Turner's digital footprint in the sports community after it ceded digital platform control to both the PGA Tour and Nascar earlier in the year.

While neither side has yet to release a statement, Bloomberg's Edmund Lee reports that Time Warner's Turner unit bought Bleacher for just under $200 million. The deal was approved by the FTC on Aug. 3.

As part of the Turner family, Bleacher Report will be able to capitalize on Turner's NCAA and NBA partnerships, among others. Bleacher also boasts a vast network, which is largely run by unpaid contributors—a model that has led the company to raise $40.5 million in venture capital funding, including a $22 million round last year from Crosslink Capital.


Update 1: Here's a portion from a joint release on the acquisition, which notes that Bleacher Report CEO, Brian Grey will take on an expanded role as CEO of Bleacher Report and senior vice president, Turner Sports. 

“Bleacher Report is a strategic acquisition that further enhances Turner’s portfolio of sports offerings, as well as reflects our continuing commitment to bring fans greater content across all screens throughout the entire year,” said Levy. “As brand builders and content providers, we were attracted to Bleacher Report's fast growth to a leading marketplace position and a valued consumer destination. The site will continue to innovate and provide users and sports fans with branded news and information. With our expansive digital rights and resources, Turner will further ensure Bleacher Report’s continued growth and success.”

Update 2: David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports of Turner Broadcasting, stressed  to Adweek that the acquisition will allow Bleacher Report to focus on development of web video content as well allowing Bleacher Report access to the entire Turner portfolio. "For us it starts with video creation and talent teams, which is something Bleacher Report hasn't had a focus on in the past. Now, we have the opportunity to enchance editorial with video on the web and tablets/mobile. The combination of the two entities is incredible," Levy said.

Levy also noted that the integration with Turner will afford Bleacher's largely volunteer network the possibility of exposure on Turner's national broadcast platforms. "We now have the capabilities of knowing who is popular and we can certainly use them whether on studio showsor CNN's morning shows, for example. People will have access to the gexposure and I think we will see more people getting into the Bleacher portfolio. We have nothing set in stone today but it's part of our converstations— 'how do we expose our key editorial people?'"