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Channel change: Global Sports eyes TV

After having success in building sites for sporting goods stores, the company hopes doing the same for the television industry will make it a prime-time player.

After fine-tuning its game in the Web's sporting goods arena, Global Sports is ready to tackle TV.

The company, which made a name for itself building Web sites for traditional sporting goods stores, said Monday that a new division it launched will build e-commerce sites for television stations and cable channels.

The King of Prussia, Pa.-based company said its new division, which will offer fulfillment, customer service and direct-marketing services, has already penned deals with Comedy Central, PAX TV, The Golf Channel and TV Land.

The move by Global Sports is a sign that it is continuing its expansion into other retail categories, which could put it into more direct competition with Amazon.com's Services business.

Amazon powers the e-tail sites of traditional retailers such as Toys "R" Us and Borders Books, and has struck partnerships with Target and Circuit City. Last year, the Seattle, Wash.-based company saw $225 million in revenue from these types of partnerships.

Safa Rashtchy, a Web retailing analyst for U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, said last week that he projected Global Sports to ring up $200 million in sales this year.

He estimated that the company would only have to book $30 million in new business to meet that expectation, adding that he believed there was a potential for Global Sports to book as much as $100 million in new business. To do that, Rashtchy said the company would have to "sign about 20 percent of what we believe is the available target market."

By the close, Global Sports was flat at $15.80 on the Nasdaq.

Where Amazon has signed a host of blockbuster deals, Global Sports partnered mostly with medium-sized companies. In September, however, the company signed a deal to power Kmart's Internet site, BlueLight.com, and acquired the former high-flying luxury goods site Ashford.com.

As part of the move to broaden its business, Global Sports, which will continue serving sporting goods stores and other retailers, plans to change its name to GS Commerce. If shareholders approve the change, the company would trade under the ticker symbol "GSIC."