Walt Disney Co''s sports network ESPN has acquired pioneering cricket website ''Cricinfo'',
in a bid to expand beyond its traditional strengths of football, basketball, baseball.
our business in the on-line world is vital for us to serve sports fans. Cricinfo
is a tremendous property with a great fan base and it will be a strong addition
to ESPN," Russell Wolff, managing director of ESPN International, said in
a statement on ''Cricinfo''.
don''t think of ourselves as an American sports television company. We think of
ourselves as a large sports and media entertainment company that operates around
the world," he added.
has developed into a significant cricket brand in its own right, combining huge
global popularity with strong commercial success. ESPN is a major sports broadcaster
and international rights holder and will provide the perfect environment for Cricinfo
to further realise its enormous potential," Mark Getty, director of the Wisden
Group which owns the website, said.
started operations in 1993 as an on-line community of cricket fans supplying cricket-related
information on a voluntary basis. Beginning with scorecards and live scores, the
portal offered users audio and video streaming of cricket matches.
which had an independent existence, received its first major investment in 1999
from Sify, an Indian IT company, which acquired a majority stake in the company.
It changed hands
four years later when the Wisden Group, which then ran its own cricket website,
wisden.com, bought it.
purchase from UK-based Wisden Group, best known for its Cricketers''
Almanac, a sporting statistics bible which is being published every year since
864, marks a strategic move by ESPN.