Fandom Acquires Red Ventures’ Entertainment Properties, Including TV Guide and Metacritic

Fandom Oct. 3 announced it is acquiring select entertainment properties from Red Ventures, including GameSpot, Metacritic, TV Guide, GameFAQs, Giant Bomb, Cord Cutters News and Comic Vine. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Red Ventures continues to own CNET Media Group, which it acquired from the former ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global) for $500 million in 2020.

Charlotte, Va.-based Fandom expects to add the acquired gaming, movie and TV brands’ combined 46 million monthly average users (MAUs) to its existing 300 million MAU’s, 250,000 Wiki communities and 40 million pages of content.

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With the addition of these gaming, movie and TV platforms, Fandom expects to extend its programs for advertising partners — including game publishers, studios and streaming video services.

“In addition to creating exceptional fan experiences, these platforms will add to our data offering … [and] will help improve the consumer experience as well as make our commerce and advertising businesses more impactful,” Perkins Miller, CEO of Fandom, said in a statement.

This deal marks another page in Fandom’s growth trajectory. In 2018, Fandom acquired ScreenJunkies to bolster its entertainment and news coverage. The company acquired Curse Media in 2019, which combined video gaming wikis digital gaming tools. In 2021, Fandom acquired Fanatical, an e-commerce video game retailer, which strengthened the company’s footprint in gaming.

LionTree served as exclusive financial advisor to Red Ventures on the transaction.

ViacomCBS Selling CNET Media Group for $500 Million

Zeroing in, during the pandemic, on streaming, ViacomCBS appears to have little room for other businesses such as CNET, Simon & Shuster publishing and commercial office space.

The corporate parent to Paramount Pictures Sept. 14 disclosed it has secured a $500 million sale of its CNET Media Group to private equities group Red Ventures. The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

CNET Media Group is a pioneer in digital media, with an expansive portfolio of digital media brands that advise consumers across consumer tech, business tech, gaming, and entertainment media brands, including ZDNet, in B2B focused content and Gamespot, a video games information brand. The portfolio also includes entertainment and lifestyle brands TVGuideMetacritic, and Chowhound.

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“I believe that the combination of Red Ventures customer experience platform and CNET Media Group’s rich content and deep editorial expertise greatly benefits both our audiences and our partners,” Mark Larkin, EVP and GM of CNET Media Group, said in a statement. “Red Ventures shares our vision and is committed to realizing the full potential of our portfolio of world-class brands.”

Larkin and his senior team will remain with the company to continue their leadership of the CNET Media Group team following the acquisition.