Recruiting is big business

Here is an interesting story from the Associated Press on the major recruiting services. And if you didn’t already know it, recruiting coverage is big business. According to the AP (story embedded below), “Rivals has 185,000 to 200,000 Web-based subscribers, while Scout says it has 110,000 to 150,000. Fans pay $10 to $12 a month each to read about their team’s successes and failures in recruiting, obsess over their rankings and follow the latest tip about a hot prospect.

“Over the years each site has added the latest technology, and subscribers can now watch video clips or track their team’s verbal commitments with a widget they can download. Rivals, based in Brentwood, Tenn., was recently sold to Yahoo for a reported $100 million and Seattle-based Scout went to Fox Interactive Media for about $60 million; staggering price tags for a couple of operations started by fans.

“Rivals received more than twice as many visitors as Scout in December, according to information from comScore, a company that tracks Internet use. But the data shows Scout could be closing the gap. Rivals had nearly 5.5 million visitors in December, down 9 percent from December 2007. Scout logged more than 2 million, but gained 5 percent from the previous December.” (More below including a quote from Alabama Crimson Tide star Rashad Johnson.)