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RealTime IT News

MTV Acquires Imagine Radio

Following days of speculation, MTV Networks Tuesday purchased Internet broadcaster Imagine Radio.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although MTV plans to commit $150 million to establish a new venture that builds on the purchase of Imagine.

The new business will feature pre-programmed and customizable audio channels, video music channels and e-commerce and community features. It is scheduled to launch in June.

It will feature concert information and ticket purchasing as well as music news and reviews in an effort to create what the companies hope will be one of the Web's top music sites. Chat, message boards and other community features will also be available.

Tom Freston, MTV Networks chairman and chief executive officer, said the strength of the MTV and VH1 brands will help the new venture grow quickly. He said it will also allow the company to expand its relationship with viewers.

"MTV Networks is working closely with th emusic industry to create a real pro-consumer, pro-artist, pro-music experience," he said.

Matt Farber, senior vice president of program enterprises for the music channels, said the growth of broadband access will play a key role in the new site's success.

"With the dawn of the broadband era upon us and the great technological strides made in streaming audio and video online, now is the time to create an all genre, pure music destination online.

"Each user can follow their own musical interests, connect with like-minded people and set themselves up for new musical adventures," he said.

He said the site will also provide new artists with a platform to connect with fans.