Yahoo!, Seven Network combines online, mobile & IPTV

MUMBAI: Australian television firm Seven Network and Yahoo have announced that they will combine their online, mobile and IPTV enterprises in Australia and New Zealand.

The strategic partnership brings together Yahoo!'s Australian internet business, Yahoo! Australia and NZ, and the online assets and television and magazine content of Seven Network.The vision for the combined teams is to create the best entertainment, information and communications experience for Australian internet and mobile users.

Under the terms of the agreement, Seven and Yahoo! will form a new 50-50 holding company that will own Yahoo! Australia and NZ. Seven and Yahoo! will each hold three of the six board seats in the entity.

The combined strengths of Yahoo!'s search and communications capabilities and its global Internet network, with Seven's rich media and entertainment content and marketing capabilities will create one of the most comprehensive and engaging online experiences for Australian consumers and advertisers.

Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes said, "We are building on our strengths to create a broad media company focused on the delivery of relevant content to all Australians across a number of delivery platforms. Yahoo! is the global Internet leader and their focus on developing compelling content to engage with online audiences complements our strategy."

Yahoo! chairman and CEO Terry Semel, said: "Yahoo! and Seven have very complementary businesses and brands, and we see this as a tremendous opportunity to build a leadership position in Australia. This is the best combination to benefit from increased broadband penetration, rich media consumption, and the growing cross-media advertising spend. Together, I believe we can deliver the most engaging and innovative rich media experience for Australian audiences and advertisers."

Yahoo! Australia & NZ and Seven will be combining their online teams and are expected to launch a new name and an exciting online presence in late January 2006. This will coincide with Seven's coverage of the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam and the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, as well as the opening weeks of the 2006 television season.

As a result of the agreement, Yahoo! Australia & NZ becomes the key platform for Seven's ongoing development beyond broadcast television and magazine publishing as it builds its digital media division leveraging its strengths in the creation and marketing of content into new and rapidly evolving forms of technology.

Additionally, Yahoo! will combine its global content, products and technology with Seven-owned content to create a truly Australian online media and entertainment experience rich in video and locally relevant content.

New consumer offerings will ultimately be available across online, mobile and IPTV in areas such as news, sports, entertainment, TV, games, music, and travel.

Seven will also contribute AUD$10 million to match the existing development capital in the business, offline promotion through the Seven Network and Pacific Magazines, as well as Seven's 33 per cent stake in mobile solutions provider m.Net Corporation Ltd, which is subject to obtaining required consents.

Advertisers will also be able to purchase combined offline and online sponsorships across Yahoo! Australia & NZ, the Seven Network and Pacific Magazines. Yahoo!'s online targeting capabilities, which helped it be named the online media seller of the year by AdAge, will enable both partners to create differentiated advertising packages for Australian marketers.

Seven claims to be the largest television company in Australia reaching 98 per cent of Australians through its owned and operated stations and affiliate agreements. Seven's publishing company, Pacific Magazines, is the second largest magazine company in Australia, with more than 6.6 million readers each month across its 15 publications.

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