CNN.com Europe and Sportal have teamed up to launch a website (www.cnn.sportal.com) that hopes to dominate online pan-European sports coverage.
The deal comes amid speculation over Sportal’s financial position. The company, which has offices in the UK, Sweden, Italy and Australia, is believed to be struggling to raise another &£7m of working capital. Its existing backers include BSkyB, Nomura, 3i and Fininvest.
CNN, which launched its European website last autumn, says it decided to partner with Sportal rather than competitors such as Sports.com and Sportinglife.com, because of its strong contacts on the Continent.
“It is a big player in the European online sports world, with a great pedigree and its editorial style fits well with the content we aim to deliver,” says Nick Wrenn, editor of CNN.com Europe.
The site is expected to be operational within a fortnight. It will be promoted as part of CNN Europe’s recently launched onand offline campaign, which uses the slogan: “Be the first to know”. Online marketing is planned as well as a print campaign in pan-European titles such as Newsweek, Time Europe and the Herald Tribune in May.