MTV Networks is doing some heavy petting, shelling out an undisclosed sum to acquire privately owned NeoPets Inc., owner and operator of popular youth web destination, Neopets.com. In March of this year, Warner Bros. announced plans to produce animated theatrical features based on the global online network which allows members to create and care for virtual pets.
It is estimated that more than 25 million members worldwide have created Neopets accounts in ten different languages, generating more than five billion pageviews per month. Membership has grown from approximately 90,000 in April 2000 to more than 25 million in May, 2005.
“NeoPets users are passionate about the site and its unique offerings, and that is exactly the kind of connection with audiences that MTV Networks cultivates and values,” comments Judy McGrath, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. “This property is a perfect fit for MTV Networks, and its acquisition is an important move for us as we aggressively move forward as a multi-platform entertainment company, dedicated to serving our audiences across all the platforms that they use and love.”
Herb Scannell, vice chairman of MTV Networks and president of Nickelodeon Networks, adds, “The combination of NeoPets and Nick.com gives us a one-two punch leadership position in the online entertainment space among kids and young adults. The hidden value of NeoPets is the fact that over 60% of its audience is over the age of 13, which aligns with the audiences of many of our MTV Network brands.”
NeoPets Chairman and CEO Doug C. Dohring and the NeoPets senior management team will continue in their roles, managing the company from its base in Glendale, CA. Dohring will report to Jeffrey Dunn, president of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises.
MTV Networks owns and operates more than 100 channels worldwide, including Nickelodeon, MTV, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, TV Land, Spike TV, CMT, Noggin and Logo. The Neopets brand is expected to be exploited across a variety of media, including television programming. For more information on the property, go to www.neopets.com.