Broadcom is making its first online play.
The maker of semiconductors for cable set-top boxes said today it is teaming with alternative sports event marketer Gotcha to develop Webcasts of participant sports such as surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding and motocross.
Broadcom is bankrolling the new venture, dubbed Broadband Interactive Group. Other investors include Broadcom Chief Executive Henry Nicholas.
"Broadcom looks at content as driving the adoption of next-generation technology," said Matt Jacobson, the former executive vice president at News Corp.'s online unit who will be CEO of the new joint venture.
Gotcha produces live events that draw more than 200,000 participants and spectators annually, and it publishes three magazines with a combined circulation exceeding 150,000. Those properties will be used to promote the new Web offerings, Jacobson noted.
"We are an event company that turns out a massive amount of content," Jacobson said. "This is about building an integrated company the combines the Web with other media."
It also could prove to be an interesting laboratory for Broadcom and its CEO Nicholas, who has been widely reported to be in negotiations to buy Major League Baseball's Anaheim Angels and the National Hockey League's Anaheim Mighty Ducks from The Walt Disney Co.
The sports franchises could significantly extend Broadcom's efforts to convert sports into programming suitable for the online medium.
Broadcom's joint venture with Gotcha, however, is not being formed with a larger purpose in mind other than creating a sports-oriented marketing company that incorporates the Internet into its mix of media to reach an audience of viewers aged 10 to 24, Jacobson said.
"This is a workable business model in the narrowband space," Jacobson added. "But if you start laying on the opportunities of television and broadband, there is significant upside."