While the sale of Bleacher Report to Turner for something in the neighborhood of $200 million was tipped several weeks ago, now that the transaction has come to fruition, the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir is content to highlight the press release without tackling any of the thorny ethical issues that have plagued the content farm since inception.
“We’ve looked at it for the past three years, just watching it grow, and in the last two years doubling its unique users, which was a telltale sign that I felt it would be a great part of our organization,” said David Levy, the president of Turner Sports. According to comScore, the Web measurement service, Bleacher Report’s monthly unique users have grown from 5.6 million to 10.1 million since 2010, ninth among sports sites.
“They’ve established a position in the smartphone and tablet areas,” Mr. Levy said, “and their coverage of team sports truly attracted us. I saw nothing like this in the marketplace.”
Turner will also use its sportscasters, like Charles Barkley and Cal Ripken, to help Bleacher Report.
The site’s content is written primarily by about 2,000 passionate fans, most of whom do not have journalistic training or attend games. They all must be approved to write for the site and receive training and evaluations. Recently, it has added about 25 writers with traditional journalistic credentials.