Gemstar-TV Guide Buys Four TV Web Sites

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Gemstar-TV Guide International announced Thursday the recent acquisition of four television-oriented Web sites: TVShowsOnDVD.com, TVNow, FansofRealityTV.com and eVokeTV.

“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,” Gemstar-TV Guide senior vice president of digital media Rich Cusick said in a prepared statement. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed.

TVShowsOnDVD.com provides news and other information about TV shows released on DVD; TVNow provides schedule information by show or celebrity; and FansofRealityTV.com features show recaps, news and discussion forums about the reality genre.

The company said it would relaunch eVokeTV -- a site that provided community and personalization features for TV-scheduling information -- later this year.

The acquisitions -- in combination with Jump The Shark, which Gemstar-TV Guide bought in June 2006 -- would increase the company’s total number of monthly unique visitors by about 25%. For December 2006, the company’s flagship TVGuide.com had 3.6 million monthly unique users and the combined acquired sites had about 1 million, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Gemstar-TV Guide also said it would launch a redesign of Jump The Shark Feb. 28, which will include features to let users vote on whether and how their favorite TV shows have “jumped” past their prime. The name is an allusion to the infamous Happy Days episode, in the show’s later years, in which Fonzie water-skis over a shark.

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