Pollstar Exclusive: Eventim’s Secret SMG Deal

Pollstar has learned that German ticketing giant CTS Eventim has inked a five-year deal to service three of SMG Europe’s UK venues.

Effective January 1, 2013, the German company will sell tickets for Manchester Evening News Arena, Belfast Odyssey Arena and the new Leeds Arena.

Eventim investor relations director Marco Haeckermann confirmed the company’s UK wing made the deal and that it was done in the last month.

It’s not known whether the deal signifies that SMG’s other European venues such as the Oberhausen Arena in Germany will also switch from Tickemaster to Eventim when current contracts expire. It wasn’t possible to get comment from SMG at press time.

It’s believed both companies agreed not to formally announce it because it could potentially weaken Eventim’s legal action against Live Nation, which is under the scrutiny of the International Court Of Arbitration.

At the ICC court in New York Nov. 14, Eventim put in its final submissions that Live Nation breached an agreement to license the German ticketer’s platform in the UK when it merged with Ticketmaster Entertainment.

LN says it broke the contract because Eventim’s software wasn’t fit for purpose in the UK.

Eventim’s claim for damages, which would have included losses at Manchester, Belfast and Leeds, among other venues, may have lost some of its impact if it was known that the Bremen-based company secured three contracts previously held by Ticketmaster.

Once the New York arbitration court sets out its judgment, it will need to be ratified by the ICC in Paris.

The whole process is likely to take about three months.

On the same day as the New York hearing, Eventim announced ticket revenues for the first nine months of 2011 were up 22 percent to euro 151.1 million ($204.5 million).

The group sold 12.6 million tickets, 18 percent up on the same period last year, and recorded a pre-tax profit of euro 41.3 million ($55.9 million) – 23 percent up on last year.

The deal it made with the German operation of Stage Entertainment is now fully operational with the integration of the show producer’s website into the Eventim platform.