Fandom is rolling up a suite of entertainment and gaming content properties — including TV Guide and Metacritic — in a deal with digital-marketing company Red Ventures worth about $50 million.
San Francisco-based Fandom acquired GameSpot, Metacritic, TV Guide, GameFAQs, Giant Bomb, Cord Cutters News and Comic Vine under the deal. The sites collectively attract 46 million monthly active users, according to Fandom.
Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed; a source familiar with the deal pegged it “in the mid-eight figures,” with Fandom paying the roughly $50 million for the properties in cash. Red Ventures had acquired TV Guide, Metacritic and GameSpot in 2020 as part of its $500 million deal to buy the CNET Media Group from Paramount Global.
Founded in 2004, Fandom today hosts more than 250,000 user-curated wiki pages spanning pop culture, gaming, TV and film — reaching some 300 million monthly active users. Fandom was founded by Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia co-founder, and entrepreneur Angela Beesley Starling. In 2018, Fandom was sold to a company backed by venture-capital firm TPG headed by Jon Miller.
The latest deal continues Fandom’s expansion beyond its wiki-based roots. In 2018, Fandom acquired ScreenJunkies, producers of the popular “Honest Trailer” series, from now-defunct digital media company Defy Media. The company acquired Curse Media in 2019 which brought together gaming wikis with integrated digital gaming tools. In 2021, Fandom acquired Fanatical, a an online video-game retailer.
Fandom Productions, the content arm of Fandom, will house GameSpot, TV Guide and Metacritic, along with the Honest Trailers team and the weekly video news program “The Loop.”
“We’re thrilled to add these powerful, authoritative brands into the Fandom platform, which will expand our business capabilities and provide immersive content for our partners, advertisers and fans,” Fandom CEO Perkins Miller said in a statement. “The trusted insights, ratings and content they provide will make us a one-stop shop for fans across their entertainment and gaming journey.”
In addition to CNET, Red Ventures’ properties include Bankrate, Lonely Planet, the Points Guy and BestColleges. LionTree served as the exclusive financial adviser to Red Ventures on the deal with Fandom.
Christina Miller, Red Ventures’ chief strategy officer, commented, “With Fandom at the helm, we are confident these brands and their teams will be well equipped to continue empowering and connecting gaming and entertainment audiences around the globe, while Red Ventures continues to focus on unlocking the next phase of growth and evolution of its strong stable of decision-making brands.”
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