Tribune, Gracenote continue to build metadata empire, acquire Baseline for $50M

Gracenote continues to amass a powerful metadata toolbox for TV Everywhere and OTT services, announcing the $50 million acquisition of the movie and TV data service Baseline.

The acquisition adds comprehensive data on more than 300,00 movies and TV shows, as well as information on nearly 1.5 million film and TV industry professionals, augmenting Gracenote's ability to deliver detailed information about content--a useful product for the programming guides of the future.

"The acquisition of Baseline continues our strategy to build upon our existing metadata expertise to advance Gracenote's leadership in entertainment data and services," said Peter Liguori, president and chief executive officer of Tribune Media, which purchased Gracenote from Sony for $170 million earlier this year. "We've made strategic acquisitions in the last few months that have expanded our geographic footprint and have strengthened Gracenote's services. In combination with our recent international acquisitions, Baseline is yet another example of our commitment to provide customers the highest standard of global solutions in the metadata space."

Gracenote's Baseline buy follows Tribune's $27 million purchase in July of What's-ON, a program guide data provider serving India and the Mid-East. Tribune also acquired metadata service TV by the Numbers in April.

Baseline's Los Angeles-based staff will be merged into Gracenote, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tribune.

The Baseline acquisition is the first major deal announced under new Gracenote CEO John Batter, who joined the company from DreamWorks Animation/Technicolor joint venture M-Go just last month.

"Baseline's deep production data coupled with its existing relationships with the studio community will help us improve the depth and breadth of the data we offer to existing Gracenote customers, as well as provides us a foundation to build products aimed squarely at serving the entertainment industry," Batter added.

The deal represents a bit of a double-dip for Baseline's sellers, Mitch Rubenstein and Laurie Silvers, who sold Baseline to the New York Times in 2006 for $35 million, only to buy it back in 2011 at a fraction of that price. (Rubenstein and Silvers' Hollywood Media Corp. also owns online ticket seller MovieTickets.com.)

For more:
- read this Tribune Media press release
- read this TechCrunch story

Related links:
Tribune bolsters program guide with TV by the Numbers acquisition
Tribune buying metadata rival Gracenote from Sony for $170M
aioTV to use TMS metadata on over-the-top platform

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