I wasn’t particularly happy to read this one this morning:
The owners of VeloNews have entered into an agreement for the sale of the magazine, its website and parent company, Inside Communications Inc., to Competitor Group Inc., a recently formed private equity-financed media company based in San Diego, California. Read more: velonews.com
Is this the beginning of the end for our proud, homespun, shitty newsprint cycling rag? What’s next? Full page glossy ads with big ass trucks and boner pills?
Oh, say it isn’t so.
Inside Communications CEO Felix Magowan said the decision was driven largely by the realization that the company was “too undercapitalized to take advantage of all the growth opportunities available to us on the web, in print, books, events and mail order.”
Oh hell. Growth opportunities on the web. Jesus.
The only problem with Velonews is that it is here, in the United States. It’s all about baseball, basketball and football in this country. America’s boy-next-door beat-cancer-silly Lance Armstrong already won the Tour seven times in a row. If that won’t get those sofa surfing lard asses interested in lycra clad Euro joyboys, nothing will.
They must be aiming for the worldwide cycling market. I guess this helps explain the recent website revamp.
Print is dead. Long live print.
Magowan said recent developments in web-based media prompted him to consider several unsolicited offers to buy the company.
“It really started in the spring of last year,” he said. “We were surprised, for example, when CricInfo.com was sold to ESPN for $100 million.”
“Here we were doing $1 million in advertising on the web and thinking we were doing just fine, and along comes ESPN, paying 100 times that for a site in a sport that arguably has a smaller world-wide footprint than cycling,” said Magowan. “It was a real wake-up call. It made us realize we were under-capitalized and needed an outside partner so that we could take advantage of the huge growth on the web.”
Dude. Cricket is off the chart huge around the world. It’s gotta be the second most popular sport after soccer. The amount of people following that sport is staggering – I’ve read there were an estimated two billion television viewers watching the 2007 World Cup. To put that in perspective, here in the United States, the Super Bowl was the highest rated TV show of the entire year with 93 million viewers. Not quite in the same league, is it.
I’m glad I got one of my shitty stories printed as an At The Back column while it was still a magazine with a web presence. Now it’s a website, and we’ll see what the print offerings end up looking like. My guess is a bit different than I’m used to.
Best of luck boys, I hope it all works out for the best.by