SportsLine to launch IPO

Internet-based sports media company SportsLine USA said it wants to raise as much as $38.5 million in its initial pubic offering.

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SportsLine USA said it wants to raise as much as $38.5 million in its initial pubic offering.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, SportsLine said it will offer 3.5 million shares of common stock at a price of $9 to $11 per share.

The company will trade under the Nasdaq symbol "SPLN."

SportsLine said that some big companies already have shown interest in its stock. Intel and Mitsubishi, for example, are interested in buying 537,634 shares and 215,054 shares, respectively, based on an offering price of $10 per share.

That means the semiconductor giant is ready to cough up $5.4 million, while the car and electronics manufacturer is ready to invest $2.2 million in the Internet-based sports media company.

(Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.)

After the public offering, the company will have 13.6 million shares outstanding, giving it a market capitalization of about $150 million, based on an offering price of $11 per share.

SportsLine provides branded, interactive information and programming, as well as merchandise, to sports enthusiasts worldwide. The company's flagship Web site delivers interactive sports content and programming. Traffic on the site, according to the company, has increased to 1.2 million page views per day, with 38,000 paying members as of June 1997.

SportsLine said in its filing that it is pursuing multiple revenue opportunities, including membership and premium service fees, third-party Web-site development, content licensing, and radio syndication. Since March 31, 1996, a majority of the company's revenue has been derived from advertising. Although most of the content on its Web site is free, users can purchase memberships, per-fee content, and products such as memorabilia and licensed apparel.

For the quarter ending in September, SportsLine recorded a net loss of $7.9 million, compared with a loss of $3.6 million for the same period a year earlier. Revenue grew to $3.1 million, up from $638,000 generated in the same period a year earlier.

This past March, the company entered into a five-year agreement with CBS in which, over the term of the agreement, it has the right to use certain CBS logos and some television-related sports content. It expects to receive at least $57 million in network television advertising and on-air promotions.

CBS, in turn, has the right to receive 60 percent of SportsLine's advertising revenue sold on the Web site for pages related to certain "signature events," and 50 percent of the company's advertising revenue sold on pages containing other CBS television-related sports content.

SportsLine has recorded a non-cash expense of $5.5 million for the nine months related to the CBS agreement ending in September, and will record an additional $56.4 million of non-cash expenses related to the CBS agreement over the remaining term, according to the SEC filing.

The underwriters include BancAmerica Robertson, Stephens & Company, Cowen & Company, and Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities.