NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With Major League Baseball's regular season under way with two games in Australia this past weekend, now may be the perfect time for singles -- at least those who love baseball -- to find their soul mate.
That's what Match.com parent IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI - Get Report) -- the Internet company headed by Barry Diller -- is betting on. Match.com has has formed a partnership with MLB to try to boost its subscription base.
Match.com's 2 million paid subscribers can put a MLB logo of their favorite team on their profile page and can search for other users who like the same team or eliminate fans of certain teams. Perhaps Match.com believes things won't work long term if a Met and Yankee fan get married and live in a house divided.
Match.com will provide fan pages, and MLB will promote the new partnership on its Web site. The partnership is good through the 2014 season. A successful launch with MLB may prompt Match.com to strike deals with other sports leagues.Meanwhile, the hidden gem in IAC's online-dating portfolio continues to be Tinder. The dating app allows users to connect with people close by. Recently, Tinder passed the mark of 1 billion matches between users. It had passed 500 million matches in December 2013. I am intrigued to see if IAC will expand the relationship with MLB to Tinder. That would allow users to meet up at a baseball game, an easy way for the relationship to expand and for IAC to continue to boost the value of Tinder. Last year, IAC's Match unit -- which consists of such sites as Match.com and Ok Cupid -- generated revenue of $713 million out of IAC's total revenue of $3 billion. In the fourth quarter, revenue for the unit -- the most profitable of IAC's units -- rose 12% to $204 million. IAC also owns Ask.com and About.com, among other sites. Shares of Interactive, which closed Friday at $72.76, have risen 7% so far this year. Revenue is projected to increase 7% this year and 9% next year, helped by expected growth in the online-dating business. The partnership with MLB should only help.
At the time of publication, the author had no position in the stock mentioned. This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
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