Viacoms MTV Networks (MTVN) has acquired Atom Ent. Inc., a portfolio of four leading online destinations for casual games, short films and video, for $200 million. The deal advances the company's multiplatform strategy of building an engaging universe of music, gaming, entertainment, news and interactivity for targeted audiences.
Atom Ent. is a pioneer in online entertainment with four leading brands in both games and video: Shockwave.com and AddictingGames.com are two of the Internet's largest casual gaming sites, offering nearly 1,500 free and downloadable games. AtomFilms.com and AddictingClips.com are two premier film and video sites for short-form comedy, animation, drama and user-generated content.
Adding Atom Ent. to MTV Networks' overall portfolio fits squarely with the company's strategy of super-serving its targeted, global audiences with a relevant and innovative video experience online. The acquisition follows MTVN's recent purchases of XFIRE, Y2M, GameTrailers.com, IFILM and Neopets.
Tom Freston, ceo, Viacom, said, "This acquisition is right on the money with our digital strategy. It adds great scale with users, improves our growing casual gaming position, and brings a world-class digital video library and a fantastic management team."
"Atom Ent. is a best in class and dynamic property, with brands that have dedicated, passionate followers and content that resonates with our global audience," added Judy McGrath, chairman and ceo, MTV Networks. "This acquisition is in line with our business strategy of being a leader in the digital space and connecting with consumers on every platform and device they use."
Shockwave.com and AddictingGames.com are part of the large and rapidly growing business of online casual gaming and will complement MTVN's roster of casual gaming communities, including Nick.com and Neopets. By including these two Atom sites, MTV Networks will be a leader in the casual gaming business, with more than 50 million casual gamers playing more than 400 million games a month. In addition, AtomFilms.com and AddictingClips.com further expands the online video available across MTVN's 24 broadband channels and the company's user-generated content offerings.
"MTV Networks is a global leader in entertainment, and we are thrilled to join their family of brands," said Mika Salmi, ceo of Atom Ent. "Leveraging MTVN's platform will accelerate our growth and create new opportunities for both consumers and advertisers. We are proud of the business we've built and look forward to working together with MTVN to lead the way in the casual gaming and short-form video content business."
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter 2006.
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom, is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 120 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, with all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 100 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
A marketer and distributor of broadband entertainment, Atom Ent. (formerly AtomShockwave Corp.) was formed by the 2001 merger of Internet pioneers Shockwave.com and AtomFilms. Shockwave.com offers a broad selection of online games that attract players of all ages. AtomFilms provides on-demand viewing of more than 1,000 world-class film and animation titles ranging from 1 to 30 minutes in length. In 2005, Atom Ent. acquired the online games portal AddictingGames. Shortly after, the online video directory AddictingClips was developed offering consumers one destination for the best clips across the Web.