Deal tightens grip on box office data market

In a move that will give it a lock on the box office reporting biz, Rentrak will acquire main competitor Nielsen EDI for an undisclosed price.

Nielsen Entertainment is unloading EDI has part of its selloff of “noncore” assets.

Deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2010, strengthens Rentrak’s footprint overseas and gives it exclusive domain over the domestic B.O.

Until Rentrak launched Box Office Essentials earlier in the decade, Nielsen EDI was the sole provider of box office numbers. Nielsen acquired Entertainment Data in 1997.

Under the terms of the deal, Nielsen will enter into a long-term data license agreement with Rentrak for continued access to certain B.O. information for some of Nielsen’s products and services.

With the acquisition, Rentrak expands its services to cover 14 countries, adding biggies Australia, Argentina, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Spain and the U.K.

All told, Rentrak will rep 90% of the global B.O. market.

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