Though the timing of Digg's deal with the Wall Street Journal was coincidental, we're told, it has sparked a new wave of whispers that News Corp. might be taking another look at the headline-voting site. We've heard a very specific number bruited about: News Corp., rumor has it, would pay $340 million to buy Digg. And there's a new angle to a potential deal: At the same time, News Corp. would take a stake in Revision3, the online-video startup which shares founders Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson with Digg.
Diggnation, a beer-soaked roundup of the top headlines on Digg, relies on Rose's on-screen talent, and is still Revision3's biggest show. A News Corp. stake could bring distribution on MySpace and Hulu — and, most importantly, keep Rose's interests aligned with both Digg and Revision3 after a News Corp. buyout. Word is News Corp.'s newly launched Fox Business Network, the CNBC rival, also wants to use Rose for coverage of CES, the large gadget trade show in January.
It's a curious rumor, especially for its specificity and detail. The only problem with it? No one close to Revision3 seems to have heard anything about the plan. So this deal could be nothing more than a cocktail-napkin sketch circulating within News Corp., not yet refined for the negotiating table. Or, perhaps even a trial balloon, strategically leaked.