NEW YORK, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network and a division of Viacom Inc.'s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire RateMyProfessors.com, a rapidly growing online destination with more than 6.6 million user-generated ratings of over 900,000 college professors. The Internet's largest listing of collegiate professor ratings, the site reaches approximately 10 million total college students each year, who use the free service to plan their class schedule, and rate professors on attributes such as helpfulness and clarity. With the combination of RateMyProfessors.com, mtvU.com, and the recently acquired College Publisher network of over 500 online college newspapers, mtvU now claims the second most trafficked* set of general interest college-focused websites - further solidifying its position as the largest multi-platform college network. RateMyProfessors.com is a strong addition to the MTVN family of online brands, as the company continues to super-serve audiences with relevant and innovative content via engaging new platforms. Following MTVN's recent purchases of Y2M, Atom Entertainment, GameTrailers, Harmonix, IFILM, Neopets and Xfire, this acquisition demonstrates the company's continued commitment to being a premier multi-platform media company across every screen consumers use. "This deal marks another step forward in our overall digital strategy and brings a large, active and engaged community of college students to our growing online portfolio," said Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO, MTVN. "With sound acquisitions and organic growth, we're constantly offering our audiences new ways to interact and express themselves, strengthening and deepening our connection with them in the process." "This acquisition reflects MTV's strategy of being everywhere our audience is and harnessing its creative firepower - in this case the millions of ratings generated by students on RateMyProfessors.com," said Christina Norman, President, MTV. "This site is a perfect addition to mtvU's multi-platform offering, further establishing the network as the definitive way to connect with college students on-air, online and on campus." "Choosing the best courses and professors is a rite of passage for every college student, and connecting with peers on RateMyProfessors.com has become a key way millions of students now navigate this process," said Stephen Friedman, GM, mtvU. "We look forward to partnering with the site's great staff and users, and expanding into new areas that will help students get much more from their college experience." "Of all the parties that approached us, mtvU was the most tapped into college culture and by far the best fit," said Will DeSantis, President, and Patrick Nagle, CEO, RateMyProfessors.com. "mtvU has the team, know-how and resources to take RateMyProfessors.com to the next level, and we're thrilled to join with the network to continue offering our users new tools to plan their academic careers." The agreement with RateMyProfessors.com follows mtvU's August 2006 acquisition of Y2M: Youth Media & Marketing Networks, the parent of College Publisher - the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the U.S. Since being acquired, the network has shown double-digit growth, expanding to over 500 online college newspapers nationwide, which serve institutions with a combined enrollment of over 5.5 million students. As a whole, mtvU has grown rapidly since launching in January 2004, increasing distribution by more than 40 percent, quintupling the size of its advertiser base, becoming the first MTV Networks channel distributed in its entirety on broadband (mtvU.com), and increasing its number of on-campus events to more than 500 a year. The RateMyProfessors.com transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2007. * comScore Media Metrix, October 2006, purely college-focused and branded websites About mtvU Broadcasting to 750 colleges across the country, with a combined enrollment of over 7.2 million, mtvU is the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are, through a three-pronged approach - on-air, online and on campus. mtvU focuses on content including music videos from emerging artists which can't be seen anywhere else, news, student life features, events and pro-social initiatives. mtvU is always on campus, with more than 500 events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and for a complete programming schedule, visit http://www.mtvU.com. mtvU.com makes mtvU the first MTV Networks channel distributed in its entirety via broadband, streaming 24/7, and on demand, featuring all of mtvU plus exclusive new music, original series and student-produced programming for college students and music fans everywhere. mtvU also owns and operates Y2M, parent company of College Publisher - the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the U.S. The network comprises over 500 campus publications that serve institutions including Brown University, the University of Illinois, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin and Duke University, with a combined enrollment of over 5 million students and a subscriber base of 2.1 million. About MTV Networks and Viacom MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with 135 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN/THE N, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 200 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide. Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company, with prominent and respected brands in focused demographics. Engaging its audiences through television, motion pictures and digital platforms, Viacom reaches its audiences wherever they consume content. Viacom's leading brands include the multiplatform properties of MTV Networks, including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land, Logo and more than 135 networks around the world, as well as digital assets such as Neopets, Xfire and Atom Entertainment; BET Networks; Paramount Pictures; Paramount Home Entertainment; DreamWorks; and Famous Music. More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at http://www.viacom.com. About RateMyProfessors.com RateMyProfessors.com, America's largest collection of college professor ratings (6,600,000), provides an automated system for quickly researching and rating over 900,000 professors from colleges and universities across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. RateMyProfessors.com reaches approximately 10,000,000 college students annually. Over 150,000 students use RateMyProfessors.com daily via its website at http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/. Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-looking Statements This news release contains both historical and forward-looking statements. All statements which are not statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts, but rather reflect the Company's current expectations concerning future results and events. Similarly, statements that describe the Company's objectives, plans or goals are or may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be different from any future results, performance and achievements expressed or implied by these statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others: advertising market conditions in cable programming and digital markets and, in particular, for advertisements targeting demographics served by the Company's programming services; the public acceptance of the Company's movies, cable television, digital services and other content; competition for advertising dollars from search and other internet and wireless-based services; the potential for further weakness in international advertising markets; technological developments and their effect in the Company's markets; the Company's ability to successfully launch its programming services to new distribution platforms; changes in the Federal communications laws and regulations applicable to cable operations, including the possibility of mandatory a la carte programming; the impact of piracy on the Company's products; the impact of increased scale in parties involved in the distribution of the Company's products and services to consumers; other domestic and global economic, business, competitive and/or regulatory factors affecting the Company's businesses generally; and other factors described in the Company's news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the Company's 2005 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 16, 2006 and the Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the periods ended March 31, 2006, June 30, 2006 and September 30, 2006. The forward-looking statements included in this document are made only as of the date of this document, and, under Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, the Company does not have any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
SOURCE MTV Networks