CNets Allure for CBS: Both Are Laggards – Bits – Technology – New York Times Blog
So CNet is finally being bought.
In January, I wrote a post called “The Problem With CNet: No One Wants to Buy It.” Every Internet and media company has looked closely at CNet. They are intrigued because it is a leader in its category of tech news and reviews, with some good technology and brands. But it is growing slowly, and its cost base is so high that its profit margins are meager. And the asking price, which hovered between $1 billion and $2 billion, scared off all the potential buyers.
So what is different for CBS, which announced today that it will pay $1.8 billion for CNet?
For one, CBS is also a company with well-known brands and sluggish growth. So CNet adds some luster to CBS, even if it would drag down other theoretical buyers like Yahoo.
Interestingly, on a conference call with investors this morning, CBS said that its own Internet properties — like Sportsline and the Web site for the Grammy Awards — are actually growing faster than CNet is.
Pretty good analysis of the brands and deal there. Bascially CBS is paying an absolute crapload for some good domain names. C-Net has been a solid ‘net brand for a long time, but never really jumped into the huge category. I have serious doubts that CBS will do amazing things with the properties, but have tv.com and news.com in your stable of properties should be beneficial for an old-scheel TV business with a long term news brand.