CBS bids $9.5M for digital sports platform Scout Media

It's not clear how or if CBS Sports will integrate Scout’s network of sports publications into its coverage. Screenshot:

CBS has reportedly issued a stalking horse bid of $9.5 million for the assets of embattled digital sports group Scout Media.

The bid from CBS, according to the New York Post, comes ahead of Scout’s scheduled Jan. 25 bankruptcy auction date.

This latest development marks a return of sorts to the sports broadcast media world for Scout, which was acquired in 2005 by Fox Sports. At the time, then-CEO of Scout, Jim Heckman, was enthusiastic about the scale gained by teaming with Fox.

“When you take our huge number of reporters and communities and in-depth player reports and then bring in the resources that Fox has—team specific stats, videos, broadcast rights and marketing capabilities—you can imagine the power that is giving what was previously a little startup company,” Heckman said in a statement.

Scout was eventually bought from Fox Sports by the North American Membership Group.

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It’s unclear how or if CBS Sports will integrate Scout’s network of sports publications covering teams across the NFL, MLB and NCAA.

CBS Sports did not immediately respond to FierceBroadcasting’s request for comment.

For Scout, the auction would cap off a tumultuous calendar year which reportedly saw Russian investors complete a hostile takeover and oust Heckman, who was reportedly followed out of the company by several other employees.

In December last year, Scout became the target of a campaign by its creditors to force the company into bankruptcy. According to the Wall Street Journal, three creditors claiming unpaid debts nearing $800,000 filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to put Scout into Chapter 11.

For CBS, it would be a relatively small acquisition after the broadcaster last year ended its potential remerger with Viacom. But CBS has made similar acquisitions in recent years. In 2015, the company bid to acquire 247Sports, a sports media group.