Tech Industry

Comcast invests $82.1 million in sports site builder

The company says it will invest as much as $82.1 million in Global Sports, which builds and runs online sporting goods stores for Internet retailers.

Comcast said today it will invest as much as $82.1 million in Global Sports, which builds and runs online sporting goods stores for online retailers.

Under the terms of the deal, the cable TV company and its shopping network, QVC, will take a 19 percent stake in Global Sports. They are buying 5 million Global Sports shares at $8.15 a share, or $40.8 million.

They also agreed to in the future buy another 4.5 million shares of Global Sports at prices ranging from $8.15 to $10, or roughly $41.3 million.

Global Sports, which operates the sporting goods businesses for Kmart-owned BlueLight.com and Buy.com, closed at $8.91 in trading today.

Funding has dried up even for established tech companies as Wall Street has been more cautious. The investment that Comcast and QVC pumped into the fledgling Global Sports company comes as a surprise, Keenan Vision financial analyst Vernon Keenan said.

"There's been a bloodbath at Viant and other architects and back-end companies that have been directly affected by the partial shutdown in the e-commerce sector," Keenan said. "Any industry that's intensive with merchandising, however, like sporting goods, can still generate demand for services to keep companies like Global Sports going."

Pennsylvania-based Global Sports also struck a deal with QVC's Web unit to run its sporting goods store.