Stock Watch: CBS’ NCAA Basketball Deal Boosts Sportsline

How important is Sportsline USA’s (Nasdaq: SPLN) affiliation with CBS? In the minds of investors, it is obviously huge. Shares of Sportsline, which offers exhaustive sports coverage and generates money through subscription fees and e-commerce, gained nearly 16 percent on Monday, rising 6-1/4 to 46 on Friday. Sportsline did not announce anything on Friday, except that its shareholders have agreed to change its name to Sportsline.com. What boosted Sportsline stock was the news that CBS paid $6.2 billion for 11 years of broadcast rights to the NCAA basketball tournament.

CBS’ deal with the NCAA also includes rights to tournament-related content on the Internet, including e-commerce rights and the rights to create NCAA-related Web sites. This deal will obviously be a big one for Sportsline, which already gets a lot of its traffic due to TV promotion.

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