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Turner buys sports website Bleacher Report

Monday - 8/6/2012, 6:57pm  ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Turner Broadcasting System said Monday that it has bought sports news website Bleacher Report in a strategic move meant to help sell more ads and cover the cost of sports programming.

David Levy, Turner president of sales, distribution and sports, said the purchase will also provide an outlet for highlight videos and news regarding sports that are already shown on TBS and TNT, including professional basketball, baseball, auto racing, golf and the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament.

"Not only will you get an incredible article written, you might also get video now," he said.

TV networks have been facing higher costs for rights to various sporting events. Having Bleacher Report will give Turner more outlets to show video from those games and make money through ads. Levy said Bleacher Report expands Turner's ability to sell ad packages that cover not just TV but websites and mobile properties as well.

Bleacher Report may have tie-ins such as a fantasy sports offering or appearances by its writers during Turner sports broadcasts in the future.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bleacher Report will not likely be a recipient of videos of full games, Levy said. Such offerings are known as "TV Everywhere" and require viewers to log in and prove that they pay for a channel package through a traditional satellite or cable TV company. Longer video of sports games on TNT or TBS are more likely to be offered on websites such as TNT.tv or TBS.com, he said.

TBS is part of Time Warner Inc.'s Turner television unit. Turner Sports already manages the websites of the NBA, NCAA and PGA and oversees ad sales for NASCAR.com. Combined, the sites reach 86 million visitors a month.

Bleacher Report, which is based in San Francisco, adds another 10 million monthly visitors.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)