$93 mil will be paid in 2009 if perf targets are met

LONDON — ITV, Blighty’s biggest private terrestrial web, has bought the Friends Reunited Web site for £120 million ($200 million).

A further $93 million will be paid in 2009 if performance targets are met.

It’s a new direction for the broadcaster, which needs to find fresh revenue as flagship web ITV1 faces declining income from spot advertising.

Friends Reunited, which puts old friends back in touch, has 15 million members in Blighty and also operates in Oz.

ITV claims the purchase is consistent with its online strategy. It has recently mounted a broadband trial with ITV Local and plans to launch interactive service ITV Play in the New Year.

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