NEWS16 December 2009

Rentrak to buy Nielsen movie measurement arm in $15m deal

M&A North America

US— Media measurement firm Rentrak has agreed a $15m deal to acquire Nielsen EDI, a division of the ratings giant focused on measurement and research solutions for the film industry.

As part of the deal, which is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2010, Nielsen will enter a long-term data licence agreement with Rentrak for continued access to certain box office sales information for some of its other products.

Nielsen EDI will be integrated into Rentrak’s AMI division alongside its Box Office Essentials business. Once the integration is complete, Rentrak will be able to provide box office results for 90% of the global theatrical box office market.

Rentrak CEO Bill Livek (pictured) said: “This strategic transaction will provide Rentrak with a substantial global platform, further enabling our ability to provide robust measurement capabilities and analytics to entertainment, media and advertising companies throughout the world, and from which to pursue new business opportunities.”

Eric Weinberg, president of Nielsen Entertainment, explained the sale: “While EDI has been an important part of the Nielsen portfolio, this transaction allows our entertainment group to focus on its core businesses and those parts of the company that are most aligned with our long-term strategy. Nielsen remains committed to increasing its understanding of the connected consumer, with a special focus on the relationship between media consumption and consumer purchase behaviour.”

Yesterday Rentrak announced that its local TV ratings service had won its first client, Sunflower Broadcasting.