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NBCU's Fandango acquires Warner's Flixster & Rotten Tomatoes

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MUMBAI: Once known simply as an online movie ticketer, NBCUniversal’s Fandango has made impressive strides over the last several years to evolve its business into an experience brand that super-serves consumers throughout a movie’s lifecycle.

Now going a step further, Fandango has signed an agreement to acquire digital movie brands Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, owned by Warner Bros Entertainment.

The addition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, along with Fandango’s recent acquisition of on-demand video service M-GO, will expand the company’s theatrical ticketing business and create the industry’s premier digital network for all things movies.  

With this acquisition, Fandango’s combined audience reach will grow to over 63 million unique visitors per month and more than 100 million mobile app downloads, and offer consumers the most comprehensive resource for movie information, theatrical ticketing, movie trailers and original video content for movie discovery, and home entertainment.  

Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, including its world-famous Tomatometer rating tool (representing the percentage of positive professional reviews for a given film or television show) will continue as consumer-facing brands, as well as exciting new additions to Fandango’s digital network. As part of the deal, Warner Bros. Entertainment will take a minority ownership stake in Fandango and serve as an ongoing strategic partner. Fandango will remain a unit of NBCUniversal.

“Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes are invaluable resources for movie fans, and we look forward to growing these successful properties, driving more theatrical ticketing and super-serving consumers with all their movie needs,” said Fandango president Paul Yanover. “Our new expanded network will also offer unparalleled capabilities for all of our exhibition, studio and promotional partners to reach a massive entertainment audience with innovative marketing and ticketing opportunities,” he added.

In January, Fandango acquired M-GO, a leading digital distributor of new release and catalog movies to a wide variety of connected, over-the-top (OTT) and mobile devices including Android, iOS, Samsung, LG, Roku, and others. With M-GO (to be rebranded later this year), Fandango plans to work with exhibitors and studios to build streamlined solutions for “super tickets," theatrical ticketing and home entertainment product bundles, gifts with purchase and other new promotional opportunities.

Fandango’s vision for super-serving consumers throughout the movie lifecycle is also extending globally.  Just four months ago, Fandango made its first move internationally and acquired Brazil’s Ingresso.com, the top online ticketer in South America’s largest movie marketplace.

The addition of Rotten Tomatoes will also strengthen Fandango’s presence overseas, as the Tomatometer is also used by international movie lovers.

Fandango’s most recent acquisitions follow on the heels of the company’s record-breaking year in 2015, where it experienced 81 per cent growth in US ticketing, and for the first time in a single year, received more than one billion visits.

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