Gemstar buys add sites to TVGuide.com

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NEW YORK -- Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said Thursday that it has purchased several television-focused Web sites.

TVShowsOnDVD.com, TV-now.com, certain assets of eVokeTV Inc. and FansOfRealityTV.com have been acquired to complement TVGuide.com, the online network's flagship site.

The company also will relaunch JumpTheShark.com, purchased in June, on Feb. 28.

"These sites strengthen TV Guide's online position as the premier Web provider of television information and guidance," said Rich Cusick, senior vp and GM of digital media at Gemstar-TV Guide. "We will work closely with the sites' founders to provide new services to their existing communities, such as listings and entertainment news, that will also lead to audience growth."

TVGuide.com had 3.6 million visitors per month last year according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The newly acquired sites, including Jump the Shark, have a combined audience of about 1 million users.

TVShowsOnDVD.com provides information, news and community for TV shows released on DVD and has a database of more than 6,000 DVD sets featuring 1,000 shows. TV-now.com features celebrity news and gossip and allows users to search for scheduling information by show or celebrity. FansOfRealityTV.com features forums and news about reality TV, and eVoke TV brings community and personalization features to TV scheduling.

Jump the Shark provides forums and features that lets users discuss if and when their favorite TV shows have passed their peak. The relaunched version will feature more interaction with TVGuide.com's database and listings, but Cusick stressed that the "independent spirit" of the site will remain.

"We love the grass-roots humor and passion of Jump the Shark," he said. "We don't want that to change."
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