Shares of Score Media soared nearly 50% in trading today following reports that Rogers Communications is in talks to acquire the specialty television sports broadcaster, according to an anonymous source cited in the Toronto Star.
The company has allegedly been trying to sell for a year or more, with speculation suggesting a price tag of up to $200 million. Rogers and Score both declined to comment on the rumours.
Quoth the Toronto Star:
Insiders have suggested that it has become more and more expensive for independent sports television providers such as Score Media to operate in today’s climate with rights to events and highlight packages becoming more and more expensive. If Rogers does purchase the Score, it would be another network to showcase its sports properties like the Maple Leafs.
Joseph D’Cruz, a professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, told the newspaper that the purchase—if reality—would be a "relatively minor play" and suggested that perhaps Rogers "just wants to keep it out of Bell's hands," explaining that sometimes big companies "do irrational things for emotional reasons."
Telcommunications companies acquiring television content creators and distributors has been a hot topic in Canada this year.
Photo: Financial Post
UPDATE: Score Media trading as been halted on the stock market.
UPDATE 2: The Globe and Mail sounds confident that this deal is very real, reporting that it could be announced today.