German ticketing company CTS Eventim has signed ticketing deals with three venues in the United Kingdom that previously had been under contract with rival company Ticketmaster.
The venues — Belfast Odyssey Arena, Leeds Arena and Manchester Evening News Arena — are operated by SMG’s European division.
The deals will take effect January 1, 2013, and each will run for five years, according to Pollstar, which first reported the news.
While Ticketmaster continues to hold a strong position in the UK, the deals show a potential “crack in the dam,” as one ticketing executive who preferred to remain anonymous told TicketNews. A Ticketmaster UK spokesperson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
SMG and Ticketmaster worked together for years. Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation even signed a ticketing deal with SMG when Live Nation was preparing to launch its own ticketing operation.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster subsequently merged, but the alliance required regulatory approval in both the UK and the United States. Those governmental reviews led to concessions by Live Nation and Ticketmaster that they would not retaliate against entities that ended their partnerships with the combined company.
That requirement has opened the door for a growing list of competing ticketing companies to look at gobbling up pieces of the ticketing market.
CTS Eventim has looked to expand its presence in the UK in recent years. The company was thought to be on the inside track to acquiring UK-based See Tickets before Vivendi swooped in to buy it at the last minute.
The German company also is embroiled in an arbitration complaint against Live Nation concerning the merger. The two had signed a deal for CTS Eventim to manage Live Nation’s ticketing operation, but Live Nation claimed that Eventim’s platform was not adequate for its needs, which prompted the company to team up with Ticketmaster.
The case is still pending in the International Chamber of Commerce.