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Ticketmaster to launch NFL resale site

The company signs a multiyear deal with the league to let people resell tickets. It plans to guarantee those tickets.

December 18, 2007|From the Associated Press

Ticketmaster plans to launch a website next year that would allow people to resell tickets to pro football games, the latest push by the event ticketing company into the lucrative secondary ticket market.

The company signed a multiyear deal with the National Football League that includes branding and promotion for the site, Ticketmaster was expected to announce today. Financial terms were not disclosed.

West Hollywood-based Ticketmaster already operates separate, so-called ticket exchange sites for 18 NFL teams, which allow ticket holders to resell their game tickets online.

The latest deal moves those teams and adds four others to the new portal set for debut sometime next year, said Ticketmaster, which is owned by New York-based IAC/InterActiveCorp.

Resales are a growing slice of the ticket market for sports, concerts and other events, but Ticketmaster lags behind other online ticket resale outlets such as StubHub, which is owned by EBay Inc., and auction sites such as EBay itself.

"It's fair to say we're an underdog in the category right now," said Eric Korman, Ticketmaster's executive vice president. "We need to really aggressively compete to win dollars and grow ahead of the competition."

Ticketmaster plans to guarantee the resold tickets, which are sent to buyers electronically, just like it does with its regular primary ticket sales.

The company is counting on that security feature and the NFL branding to woo prospective ticket buyers and sellers.

"It's going to be safe; it's going to be reliable; it's going to be efficient," Korman said. "When you show up at the gate, you're ensured that ticket is going to be valid."

The company profits by charging the seller and the buyer a percentage of the resale price.

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