TicketMaster rolls out online ticket exchange


NEW YORK -- Agents seeking to secure that hard-to-get ticket for a client have a new option in TicketFast, an online event-ticket exchange being rolled out by USA Networks' TicketMaster.

Jon Miller, president and chief executive officer of USA Networks' USA Information & Services unit, said the exchange offers, for example, a National Basketball Association season-ticketholder who couldn't attend a game an opportunity to sell the ticket.

TicketFast is geared toward consumers, but agents may find it useful.

Here's how it works: The ticketholder lists his ticket for sale on the TicketMaster Marketplace. A buyer purchases it at a fixed price, set by the venue, from TicketMaster. The original ticket is then canceled and the buyer's ticket with bar-coding is enabled and printed through TicketFast home-printing technology.

TicketMaster collects the money, retains its fees and disburses the rest to the original ticketholder and the venue based on an agreed-upon formula. The buyer, Miller said, will be able to print a new ticket at home.

The introduction of TicketFast is taking place in the first and second quarter, Miller said.

Dynamic pricing of exchanged tickets is planned in the future, an official said.

In other USA Networks developments, Expedia said its shareholders will vote Feb. 4 on the move by USA to acquire a controlling stake in the online agency.

A December shareholder vote was postponed when USA opted to sell its entertainment assets to Vivendi Universal.

USA is to acquire up to 75% of the outstanding shares in Expedia.

Shareholders were to receive a supplement to the Nov. 13 proxy, explaining that the terms of the USA-Expedia deal have not been altered.

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