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October 24, 2006

Rumor Mill - FaceBook Partners With ESPN. Yahoo, Google Should Take Note.

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/24/2006 07:27:00 PM
I am hearing from sources that FaceBook will be partnering with The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE DIS) ESPN to offer newsheadlines and sports scores to FaceBook users. Through the deal, FaceBook users will have access to updated sports scores and news about their favorite teams. FaceBook is leveraging its college fanbase and becoming a media and content distribution company. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq YHOO) and Google Inc. (Nasdaq GOOG) should take note of this partnership.I would say the deal with ESPN is a very big endorsement of the attractiveness of the FaceBook demographic and its success as a media channel. The deal brings together college kids and sports which just make so much sense. It's like dowsing a fire with oil. It's hot.

How much is the deal worth? Considering the reach of FaceBook at 30 billion page views, I would put my finger that the deal is worth $10 million in annual revenue. It is not too much in terms of moving the revenue needle for FaceBook but it does show that the cool Internet companies are no longer simply the gang of four which was formerly known as MAGY (MSN, AOL, Yahoo, Google). The center of power of the Internet is shifting and skewing younger and younger. That is the power of mass adoption. That is why FaceBook is doing a deal with ESPN.

Potentially, this deal could extend much further. Considering that Disney does not have a strong portal, could Disney become a potential acquirer of Facebook? With cartoon, animations, movies and theme parks geared towards kids and teens, that certainly makes it an interesting piece of food for thought! I wonder what they think at Disney and at FaceBook.

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