Swiss media conglomerate Ringier AG has acquired a majority stake in leading Balkan sports publisher Sportal Media Group, significantly expanding its sports media coverage across developing markets.
The investment follows a successful two-year collaboration which saw the companies launch the joint venture of ‘Ringier Sportal’ for the Romanian sports market.
Ringier details that its investment will focus on strengthening Sportal’s dominant Bulkan media coverage and accelerating the development of ‘Digital Ventures OOD’ unit – Sportal’s technology studio developing ‘Sportal365’, a next-generation content management system for global sports stakeholders.
“The investment in Sportal Media Group is a further milestone for Ringier as a digital media company with a strong journalistic DNA as well as an important sign for the future of our Global Media Division, said Ladina Heimgartner, Head Global Media of Ringier AG.
“I am convinced that Ringier’s strong global publishing experience and Sportal`s digital platform know-how is a perfect fit to set innovative standards in sports media globally.”
Operating since 2006, Sportal has established itself having some of the highest coverage among European digital publishers, growing its portfolio to 24 websites providing sports, entertainment and politics content.
The legacy Sportal.bg portal for the Bulgarian sports market is reported to generate +85 million monthly page views reaching 55% of Bulgaria’s total online viewership.
Sportal Chief Executive, Stilian Shishkov, backed Ringier’s investment as a new chapter for the company, which seeks to diversify its products and technology capacity beyond sports publishing.
“Together with Ringier we will be able to bring our leading digital brands to another level in every aspect and make them even more attractive for our loyal audience,” Shishkov stated.
“At the same time, we will take globally our sports media knowledge and stellar content publishing platform which is a critical part of running a successful digital sports brand. The step we take today is a major one, and it is the beginning of a great venture in the highly competitive sports media industry”.