In a major sports media merger, leading broadcaster ESPN has acquired pioneering cricket website 'Cricinfo'.
"Growing our business in the online 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' on Monday.
"Cricinfo 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.
Cricinfo had its inception 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.
After few years of independent existence, Cricinfo 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.