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Czech Livesport buys English football web, looking abroad for other media

Translated by Milo Dvorak

7. 3. 2024

Business Newsletter #14

Good morning,

I rarely ever delve into sports, but business is business and one can't ignore the impact football in particular has, both socially as well as financially.

Published by E15 on 2 March 2024.


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Livesport, led by Martin Hájek, has bolstered its news section, launched a year and a half ago. After acquiring the Czech portal eFotbal.cz, Livesport has now bought the English football website Tribal Football. "It's an extremely interesting editorial team, not your typical heavy media house, but a group of contributors who churn out a tonne of content about what's happening in the Premier League," said Pavel Krbec, the CEO of the Czech company, about the transaction, the amount of which neither party disclosed. The company aims to continue acquiring foreign media.


Previously, Livesport focused on developing its own content and Eurofotbal.cz in sports journalism. A year ago, it acquired another football website, the aforementioned eFotbal.cz. The company has long focused primarily on sports results, with over a hundred million users utilising its service annually.


Now, the Czech company founded in 2006 is venturing into media acquisitions beyond its borders for the first time. In recent weeks, Livesport has completed the acquisition of the English football website TribalFootball.com, which focuses primarily on behind-the-scenes speculation of the world's most popular sport. It was established at the beginning of the millennium and according to the data server SimilarWeb.com, it attracts 1.4 million readers every month. Nine years ago, the Czech technology company acquired Danish competition, Enetpulse, a provider of sports results.


"We're constantly looking at news servers, and now we've acquired an extremely interesting football website with international reach," says Krbec, who took over the management of Livesport at the end of 2022 from its founders Martin Hájek and Patrik Dzurenda. Krbec describes TribalFootball.com as a website "focused on very short football gossip, or simply rumours, and heavily focused on the Premier League."


Livesport is thus strengthening its news section, which reaches 13.5 million readers worldwide monthly. Livesport republishes articles from TribalFootball on its own website and subsequently translates them into one of the dozens of languages in which it publishes its content variations.


"What's extremely interesting for us is that it's English-language content that we can quickly translate into other languages. These are exactly the things that interest me. If we saw such an opportunity in Brazil, for example, we would immediately jump on it," describes the CEO of Livesport, specifying that it also includes other exceptionally sports-oriented markets, such as Italy or precisely Great Britain.

From Krbec's words, it is evident that the company, headquartered in Prague's Butovice district, is also looking at other foreign sports-focused servers. "We are a company in good financial standing, and when we see something interesting, we deal with it by going directly to the owner," confirms Krbec. When asked if Livesport had a specific financial allocation for acquisitions, Krbec responded that it always depended on the specific opportunity and the decision of Mr Hájek, the owner.


Livesport also experimented with non-sports journalism. At the end of 2020, it created its own news aggregator, FlashNews, but closed it less than two years later because it failed. "The technologically demanding project did not meet expectations in terms of visitor numbers and subsequently, revenue volume," said project manager Filip Horký for Lupa.cz at the time.


Martin Hájek founded Livesport in 2006, and in recent years, the revenues of the Czech technology company have been around three billion Czech crown with a profit of over one billion. Hájek owns ninety percent of the company, while his partner Jiří Mareš holds the remaining ten percent.

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