News Corp.'s IGN to Acquire Hearst's UGO

NEW YORK - As News Corp. continues to pursue a sale of social network MySpace, it said Thursday that video game IGN Entertainment, another part of its digital portfolio that is focused on video game and entertainment enthusiasts, has agreed to acquire Hearst Corp.'s UGO Entertainment.

The deal will "create a clear leader in video games media" with a big audience of young males, the companies said.

AllThingsD's MediaMemo earlier this week reported that the deal was in the works and that News Corp. is planning to spin off IGN in the coming months.

Financial terms weren't disclosed. Hearst will be a shareholder in the combined entity and will be an active participant in the development of its business, the companies said though.

IGN's properties, which include, GameSpy and TeamXBox, along with UGO's, and other sites reach a global audience of more than 70 million monthly visitors, they said. IGN reached nearly 40 million on its own. "With this move, IGN broadens its spectrum of men's entertainment content, allowing it to reach the highest concentration of men 18-34 online," the firm said in a statement. "Every month, IGN will reach one in four men online."

"This instantly catapults us to another level and positions us to serve and entertain tens of millions more fans," said Roy Bahat, president of IGN. "We are now actively considering a range of options to maximize IGN's long-term value."

"The combination of IGN and UGO will create the complete 'go to' online destination for video game enthusiasts," said Ken Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media.

IGN has been expanding its use of online video, saying the deal will allow it "even more opportunities for video distribution."


Twitter: @georgszalai

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