You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MSG-AEG Battle Continues as Jingle Ball Moves to Forum From Staples

In the latest round of a tit-for-tat battle between AEG Live and Azoff-MSG, KIIS-FM’s Jingle Ball is moving across Los Angeles from AEG’s Staples Center to the Forum, sources close to the situation confirm to Variety, in what appears to be a multi-year deal.

Reps for AEG Live and iHeartMedia, which promotes the event, declined Variety’s requests for comment.

The all-day show is one of many all-day pop-star-loaded holiday concerts held by radio stations across the country, and one of the biggest. The 2016 edition featured 13 artists, including Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Fifth Harmony, Alessia Cara, Diplo and Niall Horan.

And while the shows traditionally are not big money-makers for the venues — among other factors, the audience is largely below the drinking age — this ongoing battle between the two largest live-entertainment companies in the music business is rapidly becoming a grudge match.

This particular campaign began last fall with a challenge from MSG that, according to sources, found the company refusing to book acts into Madison Square Garden if they played at Staples Center instead of the Forum. In response, AEG informed agents and promoters late in June that effective July 1, acts who perform at The Forum instead of Staples will not be booked at London’s O2 Arena. (The very biggest touring acts, including Drake and Katy Perry, perform at both Staples and the Garden, but sources say even top draw Neil Diamond was compelled to move his forthcoming L.A. shows from Staples to the Forum.) The O2 is operated by AEG and is the only venue of its category — 20,000 capacity — in the city.

In a statement to Variety, Azoff-MSG chiefs Irving Azoff and James Dolan denied any such policy, saying: “We would like to clarify our booking policy. We always do what is best for artists. Both MSG and Forum are open buildings and will accept business from any performer that wishes to play there.”

Then, on July 11, MSG struck another blow in the New York market by announcing a booking and marketing partnership with the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  The move tilted the balance of large venues in the area, which includes Madison Square Garden (MSG), Brooklyn’s Barclays Center (which has a partnership with AEG) and the outdoor Forest Hills Stadium (AEG), which is only open during warm weather. However, reps from Barclays and Prudential effectively distanced themselves from the fray and emphasized to Variety that their buildings are open to all.

Later in July, Oak View Group, which is backed by Azoff, purchased Pollstar, the most established live-entertainment publication and chart in the business; it also owns Pollstar’s main competitor, Venues Today. AEG cried foul — citing the potential conflicts of interest in trade publications being owned by a promoter — and threatened to withdraw all advertising and cease providing box-office data to the publications.

With four major moves in the past month, it seems the next strike in this battle could come within days.


Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Thomas Golubic GMS Conference

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Ric Ocasek'The Imitation Game' film premiere,

    Ric Ocasek’s Cause of Death Revealed, Paulina Porizkova Posts Touching Note

    Cars frontman Ric Ocasek died of cardiovascular disease, according to an autopsy report released Monday by the New York City medical examiner’s office cited by Yahoo News and other outlets. More specifically, the cause was hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, also called atherosclerosis, which is an accumulation of plaque in the arteries that can weaken [...]

  • Megan Thee StallionMegan Thee Stallion in

    Megan Thee Stallion Confirms She's Collaborating With Kehlani on Next Album (EXCLUSIVE)

    Hip-hop’s It Girl of the summer, Megan Thee Stallion, has exclusively told Variety that she’s collaborating with Kehlani and a few other famous ladies on her next album. The rapper, who dropped a video for her song of the season “Hot Girl Summer” earlier this month, was asked by Variety on the red carpet at Rihanna’s annual [...]

  • Schoolboy Q

    ScHoolboy Q Reveals ‘CrasH’ Tour Dates

    Top Dawg Entertainment recording artist ScHoolboy Q today announced dates for his next jaunt across the country, the CrasH Tour 2019. Special guest NAV will join on select dates; dates appear in full below Produced by Live Nation, the 19-city tour will kick off November 4 in Houston and make stops in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Toronto, Chicago, and more [...]

  • United Talent Agency Reveals New Logo

    UTA Unveils New Logo, Corporate Image

    UTA raised the curtain Monday on a new corporate logo. The three-dimensional image is meant to emphasize the talent agency’s focus on uniting ideas, opportunities and talent. Building signage with the new logo will go up next month at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. “Our new identity captures the multiple facets and intersections of our [...]

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Taylor Swift Joins 'The Voice' Season 17 as a Mentor

    Taylor Swift is returning to “The Voice” as a mega mentor in the upcoming 17th season of the NBC singing competition series. The “Blank Space” singer will offer advice to each team of artists as they prepare for the knockout rounds in the show. Coaches John Legend and Blake Shelton took to Instagram to share [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content