IGN Entertainment merges with UGO Entertainment
SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK, May 5, 2011 – News Corporation’s IGN Entertainment today announced the acquisition of Hearst Corporation’s UGO Entertainment, an agreement that will create a clear leader in video games media. IGN Entertainment will now operate its existing properties along with UGO.com, 1UP.com and UGO’s entire network of owned and affiliated properties. Together, the properties will reach a global audience of more than 70 million monthly visitors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Hearst Corporation will become a shareholder of IGN and will be an active participant in the development of the business.
“This instantly catapults us to another level and positions us to serve and entertain tens of millions more fans. We look forward to providing an even richer service for users and advertisers. We are now actively considering a range of options to maximize IGN’s long-term value,” said Roy Bahat, president, IGN Entertainment.
“The combination of IGN and UGO will create the complete ‘go to’ online destination for video game enthusiasts. The breadth, depth and quality of the content available through these sites will be unparalleled. This is a terrific combination for our viewers and our advertisers,” said Ken Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media.
IGN reaches nearly 40 million monthly visitors worldwide. UGO Entertainment properties—which include well-known gaming and entertainment sites 1UP.com and UGO.com—will add more than 30 million unique users to that total. They join IGN’s premium media sites, including gaming-related sites IGN.com, GameSpy, FilePlanet, Direct2Drive and TeamXbox; men’s lifestyle site AskMen; and IGN’s retail partner, GameStop.com. With this move, IGN broadens its spectrum of men’s entertainment content, allowing it to reach the highest concentration of men 18-34 online. Every month, IGN will reach one in four men online.
The addition of UGO’s properties expands IGN’s media lineup and suite of product offerings—online and on mobile devices—to its core audience of young males and the advertisers looking to reach them. Already ranking #1 in video for all video game sites, this move allows IGN even more opportunities for video distribution.
About News Corporation
News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of December 31, 2010 of approximately US$57 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$33 billion. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in six industry segments: cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America.
About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment, a unit of News Corporation, is the leading Internet media and services provider focused on the video game and entertainment enthusiast markets. Collectively, IGN’s properties reached more than 40 million unique users worldwide in February 2011, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore. IGN’s network of video game-related properties (IGN.com, GameSpy, FilePlanet, TeamXbox, Direct2Drive and others) is the Web’s leading video game information destination. IGN also owns the leading men’s lifestyle website AskMen.com, and provides technology for online game play in video games. IGN is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices across North America, Europe and Australia.
About Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified media companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 38 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN; as well as business publishing, including a minority joint venture interest in Fitch Ratings; Internet and marketing services businesses, television production, newspaper features distribution and real estate.
About Covert & Co.
Covert & Co. is a premium investment bank providing highly specialized M&A and financing services to internet, media and technology companies globally. Covert & Co. President, Kevin Covert, was previously co-founder of Montgomery and an investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Brothers (now Citigroup).
Covert & Co. professionals have completed over 100 transactions over the past decade, including landmark M&A transactions such as MusicMatch/Yahoo!, MySpace/News Corp., NevenVision/Google, DailyCandy/Comcast, Disney/Club Penguin; and equity financing transactions including Meebo, Realtime Worlds, LegalZoom, Wildtangent, and Move Networks.