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CBS Sports is exploring a sale of MaxPreps, the high school sports and recruiting website, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The company has hired Inner Circle Sports to assist with the sale, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. The process is still in its early stages and there is no guarantee of a sale.

Representatives for Inner Circle and CBS Sports, part of Paramount Global (Nasdaq: PARA), declined to comment. However, Paramount is currently in broader sale/merger talks, and CBS CEO George Cheeks said during last week’s shareholder meeting that the company wants to streamline its assets and use the proceeds to pay down debt.

“We also want to ensure we have the right asset mix to navigate this moment,” Cheeks said. “In fact, we are already in discussions about divesting some of our assets to unlock value. The combination of refocusing the streaming strategy, cost reductions and asset sales will now position us to deliver consistent earnings growth and return the business to investment grade over time.”

The ongoing MaxPreps sale process does not include CBS’ other high school sports/recruiting platforms, 247Sports and Scout Media, the people said. CBS acquired 247Sports in 2015 and then integrated Scout, which it bought out of bankruptcy in 2017 for $9.5 million.

Founded in California in 2002, MaxPreps was one of the first Internet entrants to radically disrupt the high school sports sections of local newspapers. The site quickly became a popular destination for scores, schedules, photos, stats, rosters and stories, many of which were crowdsourced directly from schools, athletes and coaches. Over time, the site expanded to include national coverage and a more detailed focus on college recruiting.

CBS purchased MaxPreps in March 2007 as part of a plan to bolster its newly acquired College Sports Television (CSTV). At the time, CBS touted MaxPreps’ large audience, regional focus and coveted young demographic. CSTV is now CBS Sports Network, which expands beyond college sports to include events such as poker, football, mixed martial arts and various motorsports.

Today, MaxPreps has about 366,000 followers on Twitter, 2.1 million on Instagram and 3.1 million on TikTok. The focus is on football, basketball and baseball, but the site has dedicated landing pages for more than 60 high school sports, including judo for boys, bass fishing for both genders and bowling for girls.

The MaxPreps talks come amid much larger sale and merger talks for Paramount, formerly ViacomCBS. Shari Redstone, the company’s majority shareholder, is considering several proposals – one from Sony and Apollo Global and another from Skydance Media.

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