ESPN has made its biggest online foray into cricket: it has bought the largest cricket news and info website Cricinfo, from The Wisden Group. ESPN, owned by Disney, plans to keep the cricket site as a separate brand. No financial details were disclosed, but it has to be a significant acquisition monetarily.
The site started in 1993, as an online community of cricket fans supplying cricket-related information on a voluntary basis. After few years of independent existence, Cricinfo received its first major investment in 1999 from Sify, which acquired a majority stake in the company. It changed hands four years later when the Wisden Group, which then ran its own cricket website, Wisden.com, bought it. Wikipedia has a good history of the site and its evolution.
Meanwhile, The Wisden Group will focus on its Hawk-Eye sports technology business in cricket, tennis and a growing range of other sports, it said.
Letter from Cricinfo Editor: Will Cricinfo be able to retain its identity, its spirit and its independence? Yes, a few things could change. We will have access to better technology and design facilities, our multimedia capabilities will be enhanced and, who knows, some day there might even be Cricinfo TV…To start with, Cricinfo will not lose its name, nor its voice.