MVP.com Takes a Called Strike

Sports information company SportsLine.com Inc. , publisher of
CBS SportsLine.com, terminated its agreement with MVP.com Inc., saying the
sports e-commerce company is “overdue” on its scheduled payment for the
fourth quarter.


MVP.com, which “helps individuals achieve their personal best in sports and
outdoor activities,” markets sporting goods merchandise and apparel.


Is the company striking out?


“No, we actually are doing well, sales have been steadily increasing since
the summer,” spokeswoman Paula Davis told InternetNews.com.


“We have been renegotiating the portal agreement (with SportsLine.com) and to
date those negotiations have not been successfully resolved.” She would not
elaborate, except to say that the bulk of the company’s revenues come from
its flagship site and other venues.


The sports e-commerce company was founded in 1999 and boasts an advisory
board that includes Michael Jordan, John Elway and Wayne Gretsky. It has
operated the e-commerce site for SportsLine.com since January 2000.


SportsLine.com said its termination of the agreement was “due to MVP.com’s
breach of certain provisions of the agreement. Negotiations for a
restructuring of the agreement were unsuccessful.”


“As we stated during our quarterly earnings announcement, we are very
confident that we will be able to continue to capitalize on our large user
base and reach another e-commerce partnership agreement in the very near
future,” said Michael Levy, founder and CEO of SportsLine.com. “We have
millions of sports enthusiasts visiting our site each month that are
predisposed to purchasing sporting goods …”


Davis said that privately held MVP.com has had no performance-based layoffs
and in fact “expects to be cash-flow positive by the fourth quarter of 2001.”


SportsLine said that “until a new agreement is in place, SportsLine.com users
will continue to have the ability to purchase merchandise on the site.” Davis
said the transition will be seamless to customers.

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