Nick Blackburn, the former Chairman and CEO of UK-based See Tickets, has been named Chairman of rival CTS Eventim’s UK division, as the Germany-based ticketing company seeks to improve its position in Great Britain.
Blackburn, one of the most influential ticketing executives in the UK over the past 20 years, is also a past director at Ticketmaster, helping it and See Tickets become two of the largest ticketing companies in the UK. In addition to concentrating on Great Britain, Blackburn will also look to grow Eventim’s ticketing business in Ireland.
“I am very excited to be joining such a successful company at a time when they are looking to develop their business in the UK. EVENTIM has always been at the forefront of technological advance, and I believe the EVENTIM system really has an edge over the competition in terms of attractive features and impeccable performance,” Blackburn said in a statement. He begins his new job in June.
Eventim is one of Europe’s largest ticketing companies, but it is likely still smarting from the deterioration of its relationship with Live Nation, after the company tapped Eventim to be its ticketing partner only to then drop it and bad-mouth it once Live Nation hooked up with Ticketmaster. The business fracture resulted in Eventim filing a grievance with a European arbitration panel against the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger; a case that is still pending.
Blackburn’s hiring is a signal that Eventim is drawing a line in the sand that it does not intend to yield any more ground to Live Nation. According to Pollstar, Blackburn left See Tickets last fall in part because the company had been bought and sold twice over the course of two years and he was reportedly unhappy with the changes and direction of that company.
“Nick Blackburn has been a driving force in ticketing in the UK for more than two decades, and we are happy he has accepted our offer to become Chairman of our UK operations,” Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg said in a statement. Schulenberg reportedly might be interested in acquiring See Tickets; he bought the German division of See Tickets in 2010. “His appointment underpins EVENTIM’s claim to be one of the leading ticketing services providers in the UK.”