A new college sports network that will compete with Rivals, Scout and ESPN plans to be up and running this fall.
247 Sports, which is based in Brentwood, Tenn., was founded by Shannon Terry and Bobby Burton, Terry is the former chief executive officer and Burton the former chief operating officer of Rivals.
Both men left Rivals last year but reportedly had noncompete clauses that ended this spring. In the interim, they invested in a small barbecue restaurant near Nashville.
Burton told Sports Business Journal last August that the two planned a return to digital sports media.
"We've made a pretty good team thus far, and we see no reason to break it up," he said.
247 Sports already has a website, Facebook page, twitter feed and Tweetphoto page. Last weekend, the Ohio State fan site Bucknuts announced it had joined the 247 network. Bucknuts had previously been affiliated with ESPN. In a posting, Bucknuts stated that it expected to be joined by "20 or so of the industry’s largest web sites."
Last month, Ben Koo, a contributor to Bucknuts, wrote that several ESPN-affiliated sites had become disenchanted with the network, and 247 appears to be targeting several of those sites.
A list of favorite pages on the 247 Facebook page lists five sites that at one time have been affiliated with ESPN: Big Spur (South Carolina), Eer Sports (West Virginia), Duck Territory (Oregon), Bearcat Lair (Cincinnati) and Auburn Undercover.
247 is also this posting on its home page: "Join us! If you are an established sportswriter, reporter or editor, or own/manage an online college or professional team publication, we'd like to hear from you."
The Facebook page has a similar posting and also gives an address where recruiting prospects can send video.College sports networks is big business. Scout was acquired by Fox in 2005 for $60 million and Rivals was sold to Yahoo! for $98 million in 2007. ESPN then entered the market by acquiring several team sites to build its network.