Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Viggle Isn’t Buying GetGlue After All

broken-tvLast fall, social TV company Viggle announced that it was buying competitor GetGlue in a deal that could have been worth $70 million or more.

But that deal never closed, and tonight GetGlue says that it never will.

A blog post by GetGlue founder Alex Iskold doesn’t say much. “Today, we’ve decided that GetGlue will not be merging with Viggle,” he writes, adding that “all of us at GetGlue are excited about growing our social network and the leadership position on the second screen.”

If you have to take a guess at the backstory, it likely has to do with Viggle being unable to get the financing it needed to get the deal done. As TechCrunch noted last week, Viggle had told investors, via an SEC filing, that it was working on an extension to its original deal, announced back in November.

I’ll take another guess and speculate that if there was any way to make this work, GetGlue would have stuck around.

I’ve been told that Iskold had pushed hard for the deal, even though some of his investors — including Rho Ventures, which led a $12 million round a year ago — had wanted him to stay independent in the first place. I’ve asked him and Viggle reps for additional comment.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald