JumpTV, the Canadian company which specialises in distributing international television and sports coverage over the internet, is to acquire London-based Cycling TV for £2.44 million in cash and shares. JumpTV reports increased subscriptions and revenues, but absolute numbers remain relatively low.

JumpTV features over 300 television channels from more than 75 countries, including news, sports and entertainment programming.

“This acquisition is in line with our pursuit of exclusive, hard-to-find and high-affinity internet video content,” said Scott Paterson, the chairman and chief executive of JumpTV.
“Cycling is a global sport with a large and passionate international following. Moreover, we are confident that, as part of JumpTV, the world’s top cycling races will be able to afford their worldwide fans the best in an online experience.”

Cycling TV has been seen as a successful case study in delivering special interest programming over broadband.

Simon Brydon, the current chief executive officer of Cycling.tv will continue to manage the service. He said: “We are delighted that Cycling.tv has found a perfect home at JumpTV. By becoming a part of the JumpTV team.” He added that the Jumper media player and global distribution partnerships will “add experiential value to our viewers, expand our overall viewership and add to the value proposition for our advertisers.”

All of the programming offered through Cycling.tv is made available for free at lower-quality data rates while subscriptions are available to higher-quality streams. Cycling.tv currently has approximately 18,000 subscribers, paying an average of £19 a year.

Cycling.tv will become part of the JumpTVSports division. It will join services from XOS Broadband Network, the acquisition of which is expected to close within weeks. These include coverage of collegiate sports teams in the United States. JumpTV raised than $100 million for acquisitions through a share offering in February.

JumpTV has 34,000 subscriptions, compared to slightly less than 30,000 a year ago. The company posted a net loss of $6.5 million for the last quarter, with revenues up to $1.1 million. The company has recently been moving towards an advertiser-supported business model.

“Our free-to-consumer launch has resulted in viewership of free channels reaching approximately 40 million minutes per month within two months of launch,” said Scott Paterson. “We are confident that this has positioned JumpTV to obtain advertising revenues over the next several quarters.”