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Ticketmaster Expands Operations Into China

BEIJING and WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.,(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Ticketmaster, the world's leading ticketing company and an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI – News), has expanded its global ticketing operations into China and, through a joint venture called Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Ticketing Co., Ltd. (Gehua Ticketmaster), it will serve as the ticketing services exclusive supplier of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) in China.

Gehua Ticketmaster is a joint venture formed by Ticketmaster and the partnership of Beijing CSI Ticketing Development Co., Ltd.'s China Sports Industry Group, Co., Ltd. and Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, to provide ticketing services in Beijing.

As the Beijing 2008 Ticketing Services Exclusive Supplier, Gehua Ticketmaster will provide all ticketing services including the technology platform, order processing, sales channel functionalities, customer service, and on-site Box Office staffing in the People's Republic of China. The venture will also provide the management and software to facilitate Olympic ticketing telephone sales, information and customer service supporting the Beijing 2008 Call Center ticketing operations and infrastructure. Gehua Ticketmaster will also facilitate all aspects of Olympic online ticket sales through the Official Beijing 2008 ticketing Web site as well as provide and integrate with the Olympic ticketing distribution technology platform to enable retail sales of Olympics tickets to consumers through Bank of China branch locations.

"Ticketing services is one of the most focused issues in Beijing Olympic preparations," said Yuan Bin, Marketing Director of BOCOG. "The ticketing service exclusive supplier integrates advanced ticketing service both in China and abroad. The Beijing Olympic Games requires that the exclusive supplier has not only advanced technology, but also flexible and broad operational ability and professional staff."

Ticketmaster President and COO, Sean Moriarty, attended a press conference in Beijing to announce the expansion and participated in a formal signature ceremony marking the Olympic ticketing agreement. At the conference, Yuan Bin announced that Gehua Ticketmaster can provide the global audience with a quality ticketing system and service for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

"Ticketmaster is very pleased to establish this joint venture alliance with Gehua Cultural Development Group and the China Sports Industry Group, which have been instrumental in working with us to solidify the agreement with BOCOG to serve as the ticketing services exclusive supplier for one of the world's most historically significant sporting and cultural events — the 2008 Olympic Games," said Mr. Moriarty. "Ticketmaster has provided ticket sales and services to clients and consumers across the world for 30 years and we are very proud to be establishing ticketing operations in China. This venture represents a valuable opportunity for us to integrate our technology, infrastructure and expertise throughout the People's Republic of China via the Olympic Games, the Beijing Organizing Committee, and our joint venture operation, to ultimately help drive business for the country's rapidly expanding live event industry."

Today's news reflects Ticketmaster's commitment to strategic international development within the Asia Pacific market and is a first step in the company's strategy to expand its business into the People's Republic of China and foster growth of the market's live event industry.

"We are honored to work with our partners to bring Ticketmaster, the world's leading ticketing company, to China," said Ticketmaster Chairman and CEO, Terry Barnes. "We are committed to a long-term investment in the country's live event marketplace and we look forward to working with their event providers to help increase their business through better ticketing services. Our state-of-the-art technologies and ticketing system will help the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, as well as other event providers, sell more tickets more effectively while making the purchase of event tickets faster and more convenient for consumers in those markets and worldwide."

Gehua Ticketmaster's ticketing operations in Beijing will be fully integrated to offer event-goers a variety of sales channels including a dedicated Internet site for the sale of tickets online along with a network of telephone contact centers. The venture is also exploring retail outlet opportunities throughout China where consumers may purchase tickets and access event information at existing retail locations. Clients will have access to Ticketmaster's comprehensive infrastructure for event and patron data management, tracking and reporting, as well as marketing and distribution services that will help them connect directly with their current and potential patrons.

The venture will be managed in Beijing by Curt Logan, Senior Vice President and General Manager. Mr. Logan joined Ticketmaster in 1981 and most recently served as the company's VP of Operations and Product Support. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers