Rumours had started swirling that Sportingo – the user-generated sports site which is part of a network of two others – was in trouble about a month ago. But nothing much surfaced until today’s announcement that it has now been acquired by TixDaq, a ticket price comparison site. The sale price was is undisclosed, but I doubt it was very high. Sportingo and sister sites Caughtoffside.com and GetSport.tv, a guide to where to watch sports video, together only generated 1 million visits a month according to its owners, which is very low given the category and the fact that Sportingo has been going since September 2006. In October 2007 it only had 550,000 uniques.
Sportingo was modelled as a niche OhMyNews – a fan-generated site of articles, opinions and news which was then edited by Sportingo’s own team of sports journalists. But it has suffered when compared to professional sports sites and, frankly, simpler fan-based communities which don’t try to come across as media sites. CaughtOffside was a UK football blog acquired in 2007. Tixdaq will presumably use the sites as a way to generate affiliate sales of sickets from its ticketing search engine.
Sportingo had $3.2 million investment in 2007 from Ingenious Media Active Capital and was founded by Tal Barnoach (Chairman) and Ze’ev Rozov (CEO).
I predict a further slow death for the sites as I can’t see TixDaq investing in the kind of resources need to get Sportingo and it’s other site off the ground, although GetSport.tv may have some potential in the growing online video market.
Apart form anything else the sites will need to aggregate Sport fans activity on other social sites to really catch the zeitgeist. As an example, iPlatform last year recognised that there was so much activity on Facebook amongst Chelsea fans that it could actually create a business sucking those fans out into Chelsea’s own site. I can see other club sites working this way in the future, bypassing niche football sites – especially if they don’t bother to integrate Facebook Connect or other emerging platforms like Twitter.
At least Tixdaq seems well positioned if it can make more headway in the burgeoning secondary ticket market as a sort of overseeing comparison engine.