Industry insiders speculated last month that CMGI would buy AdForce and its biggest customer, 24/7 Media, which uses AdForce to serve and manage advertising across its network of Web sites. The AdForce deal went down last week, and buzz is that CMGI now will buy 24/7 -- possibly before the end of October. Officials at 24/7 had no comment.
Bill White, CMGI executive VP-marketing and corporate communications, confirmed that CMGI is actively pursuing merging with or acquiring a Web ad network. "There are no definitive merger discussions with 24/7, but we are looking at most of the companies in that space," including 24/7, he said.
CMGI could benefit from the online ad sales reps a 24/7 deal would bring on board; they at some point could help CMGI sell space on recently acquired AltaVista, which has a contract with 24/7 rival DoubleClick expiring December 2001. AltaVista accounted for 43.8% of DoubleClick's systems revenues in the first half of the year.
Sony, ESPN team for Sports Jeopardy
Sony Online Entertainment is expanding its "Jeopardy" TV and Internet property to another Web version. Sports Jeopardy will be marketed in a partnership with ESPN Internet Ventures. The game will launch this fall (www.sportsjeopardy.com) with both Sony and ESPN using their online and TV properties to market the game. The effort will also include promotions at sporting events and movie theaters.
Chat. . .
BatNet1, a Tinton Falls, N.J., online affinity marketer, today launches the AARP Marketplace, a shopping area accessed through the seniors site (www.aarp.org). The marketplace features special offers from online retailers including Hickory Farms and Rockport Direct. . . . Speaking of senior citizens, the apparently ageless Dick Clark will provide online advice on how to make a fun music mix for Philips Electronics' "Millennium Mix Contest." Philips is teaming with Tunes.com for the contest, which will award cash and prizes to audiophiles who compile the best CD mixes for their New Year's Eve bashes. . . . Doner, Southfield, Mich., created a new media unit and named Stefan Kogler its first director-online and interactive environments. . . . Tripod is introducing a program that rewards members whose home pages attract visitors. The Builder Bucks program pays cash to Tripod Premier Builders, members whose pages generate more than 100 page