Pioneering TV Show Dial-Testing Company Sold to Movie Research Firm

Courtesy of Screen Engine
Kevin Goetz

No layoffs are expected as a result of the merger of Screen Engine and ASI Entertainment

Movie-research firm Screen Engine said Wednesday it has acquired ASI Entertainment, the 50-year-old company behind the ViewTrac dial-testing system that asks audiences to turn dials to indicate whether or not they are enjoying a TV show on a second-by-second basis.

Screen Engine said it will remain in Century City with its focus on the film industry, while ASI Entertainment will stay at its location in North Hollywood and remain focused on television. The combined company is now called Screen Engine/ASI.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The merged company has about 50 full-time employees and 150 part-timers, and a spokesman said that no layoffs are expected as a result of the acquisition.

Beverly Bolotin, formerly the CEO of ASI Entertainment, has become executive vp of Screen Engine/ASI while Elliot Rosenberg, formerly president of ASI Entertainment, has become senior vp of the combined company.

"ASI wrote the playbook on television program testing. It is a great honor to be entrusted to uphold the brand legacy of a company I've so long admired," said Kevin Goetz, who founded Screen Engine four years ago and is now CEO of the merged entity.

Beyond television shows, ASI offers political research, mock juries and products that service the advertising industry. Screen Engine's products include star and title testing for movies, audience test screenings, home video package testing, trailer tests and in-theater exit polls.

Between the two companies, their clients have included all of the major film studios, most of the top TV broadcast and cable networks and all of the major entertainment conglomerates.