TicketNews Week In ReviewBy Alfred Branch, Jr.

Connecticut’s move to legalize the reselling of tickets was big news last week, but another acquisition by Ticketmaster and the massive Live Earth concerts nearly stole the show.

With little fanfare considering its potential impact on the state’s economy, Gov. Jodi Rell signed the bill to legalize ticket scalping, a move hailed by brokers who could finally work openly without searching for loopholes.

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The law takes effect October 1.

Despite some early opposition from Ticketmaster and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, both the House and Senate of the state’s General Assembly approved the new law unanimously, which lifts all caps and restrictions on the resale of event tickets, creates a 1,500-foot, no scalping buffer zone around venues and toughens the punishment for the sale of counterfeit tickets. Prior to the General Assembly vote, Ticketmaster withdrew any opposition, in part because the company is in the midst of expanding its auction and resale businesses. . .

Continuing with Ticketmaster, primary ticketing giant sought to strengthen its position atop the industry by acquiring the ticketing software company Paciolan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to Ticketmaster, it plans to combine Paciolan’s current products with its online TicketFast, TicketAuctions, TicketExchange and VIP packages.

Former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental consciousness raising concerts Live Earth were attended by hundreds of thousands on seven continents, and viewed by several hundred million at home. The concerts were not a benefit seeking donations but a chance to alert citizens around the world about global warming.

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In other news, organizers of the secondary ticket industry convention TicketSummit 2007 announced that former Ticketmaster CEO Fred Rosen would deliver the keynote speech, during the event’s run July 17-19 at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

Rounding out the week, country music acts held several top spots in the exclusive TicketNews Top Tens, and on Broadway, the musical “Wicked” was again the top grossing show with more $1.4 million in ticket sales, according to the TicketNews exclusive ranking.

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