A Hollywood Deal


Hollywood Media Corp., a provider of news, information and ticketing that served the entertainment and media industries, this week announced that it has sold its Source business to West World Media LLC for $23 million in cash. The Source segment includes the CinemaSource, EventSource and ExhibitorAds properties.

CinemaSource is a supplier of movie showtimes data as measured by market share in the U.S. and Canada. It also licenses movie showtime listings and other content to its customers, which include newspapers, wireless companies and other media outlets. EventSource compiles and licenses local listings of live events (such as concerts, sporting events, fairs and shows). The Exhibitor Ads part of the business provides movie exhibitors with newspaper advertising services and other exhibitor marketing services.

The deal ultimately returns the Source operations to their original owner. West World Media's Brett West founded the Source business in 1995 before selling it to Hollywood Media in 1999. West was president of Hollywood Media's Source business. As part of the deal, both companies have signed a multi-year data sharing agreement which calls for Hollywood Media and West World Media to continue providing each other with content, including West World Media's provision of movie showtimes and events data to Hollywood Media and Hollywood Media's provision of movie and entertainment-related content to West World Media.

Hollywood Media will continue to focus on its current stable of properties, which includes a Broadway Ticking division (Broadway.com, 1-800-Broadway, Theatre Direct International and London-based Theatre.com), and an Ad Sales division (Hollywood.com and U.K.-based CinemasOnline). Hollywood Media also owns Hollywood.com Television, a free VOD cable TV network and a minority interest in MovieTickets.com.

It seems like Hollywood Media hasn't completely closed the door on its Source properties, especially with the content-sharing deal it will maintain with West World Media. And maybe it shouldn't. If anything, this should make the transition back to West World ownership rather seamless. Yet it wouldn't be surprising if this particular facet of the sale remains in place even longer. Both companies' properties are certainly complementary and may be better suited to remain affiliated.

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