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SportsLine seeks more funding

Four months after its IPO, the Net sports company files with the SEC to sell 4 million shares of common stock to raise $108 million.

Four months after its initial public offering, SportsLine USA (SPLN) bellied up to the offering plate for a second helping of funds.

The Internet sports company today filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $108 million. The offering will sell 4 million shares of common stock, of which about 2.28 million shares will be offered by the company and about 1.72 million shares will be offered by certain selling shareholders.

Based on today's closing price of $27, the company expects to make about $61.4 million, and the selling shareholders will make about $46.6 million. SportsLine said it expects to sell the shares in the secondary offering at a slight discount to the trading prices of the common stock at the time of sale.

In January, SportsLine USA, publisher of CBS SportsLine, acquired GolfWeb in a stock deal valued at $14.8 million. SportsLine, which also runs Web sites devoted to golfers such as Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and John Daly, acquired GolfWeb for approximately 860,000 shares of SportsLine USA's common stock.

Net proceeds to the company will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, including expansion of the company's marketing and advertising sales efforts, content development and licensing, international expansion, and capital expenditures.

The company expects to evaluate possible acquisitions of or investments in businesses, products and technologies that are complementary to those of the company, for which a portion of the net proceeds of this offering may be used.

SportsLine said it presently has no commitments for any such acquisitions, and no portion of the net proceeds has been allocated for any specific acquisition.

The offering is expected during the second quarter of 1998. Underwriters of the offer include , NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, PaineWebber, and Salomon Smith Barney.

In its annual report, also filed today, the company believes that its current cash and marketable securities will be sufficient for at least the next 12 to 18 months. However, the company expects to continue to incur significant operating losses for at least the next 30 to 36 months.

Earlier this month, SportsLine USA was awarded a 1998 Webby Award in the sports category, an area that has been increasingly competitive online.

SportsLine recently expanded its offerings by launching SportsLine WorldWide in an effort to create brand awareness overseas and to take on the competition--such as ESPN SportsZone, CNN/SI, and the Sporting News--that generally cover international events through wire services. MSNBCSports was launched in January.

SportsLine WorldWide incorporates content from three leading "standalone" sites: Soccernet, CricInfo, and GolfWeb.