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‘ESPN of high school sports’ expands with startup buy

The UpTake: PlayOn Sports CEO David Rudolph says his company’s acquisition of startup Digital Scout will help round out its offering of all things high school sports.

A media company dubbed the “ESPN of high school sports” has acquired Digital Scout to bring the Columbus company’s real-time statistics and scores into its product offerings.

Atlanta-based PlayOn Sports, which bills itself as the largest producer and distributor of high school sports content online, said it will integrate Digital Scout’s content into its offerings of live and on-demand video starting with the new school year this fall. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

PlayOn Sports expects to deliver live broadcasts of more than 40,000 high school sporting events this school year over its online NFHS Network, a joint venture with National Federation of State High School Associations modeled after the Big Ten Network.

PlayOn Sports CEO David Rudolph told me adding Digital Scout will bring thousands of additional gamecasts to subscribers for when there is no NFHS Network video feed.

“That’s adding a lot of breadth of content,” he said.

For games in which the companies’ coverage overlaps – the ultimate goal – Rudolph said fans will be able to watch and get statistical updates both in real time. Digital Scout’s statistics also will allow indexing of highlights so fans can later search for specific replays.

As we reported in this 2012 profile, Digital Scout was founded in 1995 to provide statistical information between coaches, and has grown with a renewed focus on fans of high school sports and with partnerships with cable providers and high school websites. It counts 11,000 high schools as customers of its mobile stat-tracking apps for football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, hockey and track.

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