Bejing-based flat-screen advertiser Good Media took over its fitness-center advertising competitor Sports Media, formerly owned by Focus Media (Nasdaq:FMCN), on January 5, reports 21st Century Business Herald. Sports Media officially ended its agreement with Focus Media on December 16 and signed with Good Media on December 31, said the report. Ding Bingwen, former Sports Media president and new Good Media chief operating officer and board member, said Focus and Sports Media split over lack of profit guarantees. Details on the deal were not disclosed.Our take:
Focus Media neither confirmed nor denied the news Monday, but said Sports Media is only a small portion of its business. Former Focus Media subsidiary Framedia announced its acquisition of Beijing-based Sports Media in April 2008.
Focus was once the digital signage darling of the NASDAQ, but run-ins with the Chinese government over unsolicited text messaging (another unit of their company) started a slide that has ended with their stock down something like 70% on the year.
While Sports Media may only have been a "small portion of its business," Focus can't deny that it was part of the firm's money-making digital signage operations, and as such should have been core to their operations. It remains to be seen whether this announcement will have any effect on the firm's current operations, or on their plans to get acquired/merged with another company.