Social TV consolidation: Viggle agrees to buy GetGlue for nearly $80M

Investor Time Warner may benefit from acquisition
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In what may set off a wave of consolidation in the social TV sector, Viggle struck a deal to buy rival second-screen application provider GetGlue for nearly $80 million in stock and cash.

Under terms of the deal announced Monday, Viggle said it will pay $25 million cash and 48.3 million shares of stock to buy GetGlue. Viggle stock, which closed at $1.11 on Friday, jumped about 10 percent Monday morning following the announcement.

DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) has deals with both GetGlue and Viggle. The top satellite TV provider allows subscribers that use GetGlue to "check in" to programs with their DirecTV remote controls, and to view a stream that details which shows and movies their friends are watching. In August, DirecTV launched a loyalty program with Viggle where subscribers can earn points that can be redeemed for free pay-per-view movies by checking into shows through Viggle.

Viggle, which debuted in January, said it will continue to operate both of the social TV brands. Viggle said it counts 1.2 million registered users, while GetGlue has 3.2 million registered users.

There are several other companies marketing second-screen social TV applications for mobile phones and tablets, including Yahoo's IntoNow and Zeebox, which is backed by Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Viacom (NYSE: VIA). AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse TV has integrated several other social TV applications, including BuddyTV Guide, Miso and TV Foundry.

Viggle said it plans to absorb all 34 GetGlue employees and that GetGlue founder and CEO Alex Iskold will get a senior management position and a seat on its board. Viggle is run by chairman Robert Sillerman, the SFX Broadcasting and SFX Entertainment founder who helped launch concert promoter Live Nation.

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) is among the GetGlue investors that may profit from the acquisition. The media giant announced in January that it participated in a $12 million investment round in GetGlue.

For more:
- see the release

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