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1999 Fools: Ebay to buy Antiques Roadshow from WGBH
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Newsgroups: phl.media Subject: Ebay to buy Antiques Roadshow from WGBH Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 16:24:34 GMT Organization: Deja.com - Share what you know. Learn what you don't. Lines: 43 Message-ID: <email@example.com> NNTP-Posting-Host: 184.108.40.206 X-Article-Creation-Date: Wed Jun 30 16:24:34 1999 GMT X-Http-User-Agent: Mozilla/4.6 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.2.10 i686) X-Http-Proxy: 1.0 x43.deja.com:80 (Squid/1.1.22) for client 220.127.116.11 Xref: news-toy.newsread.com phl.media:15093 BOSTON (REUTERS)--July 30, 1999--In a surprise move today, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) announced that it will buy Antiques Roadshow from the WGBH Educational Foundation of Boston for $175 million. Antiques Roadshow, a popular program syndicated nationwide on the Public Broadcasting Service, presents live appraisals of show participants' antiques. The deal closely follows eBay's recent acquisition of the prestigious Butterfield & Butterfield auction house, and rival Amazon.com's recent partnership with Sotheby's Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BID), in a trend analysts call consolidation in the auction industry. Steve Westly, eBay's vice president of marketing and business development, said "We see this as an extremely strategic acquisition. eBay is uniquely positioned to leverage the Antiques Roadshow brand and viewer goodwill. This offering will clearly enhance the eBay user's experience." Henry P. Becton, Jr., president of WGBH, said "This sale in itself represents an amount nearly twenty million dollars greater than our fiscal year 1998 revenues. With this deal, we have met our fundraising goals through the end of 2000." Industry experts are uncertain whether the purchase will raise Justice Department concerns. Rodney Simms, an online commerce analyst with Forrester Research, said "This deal, combined with the recent Butterfield purchase, may be aggressive enough for Justice to take notice. eBay is positioned to become the sole source for tchotchkes, kitsch, ephemera, art glass, and knick-knacks in this country." Other concerns have been raised as well. Antiques Roadshow has long been controversial with moral activists for its resemblance to pornography. Reverend Donald Wildmon, of the American Family Association, said "It's all there--the foreplay, the lingering closeups, and of course the 'money shot' when the appraised price is revealed. Roadshow elicits the same lustful desires in its viewers as hard core pornography. It objectifies objects." Aida Moreno, executive producer of Antiques Roadshow, called Wildmon's allegations nonsense, saying "This is public broadcasting, for goodness sake. We broadcast only wholesome family educational and entertainment programming." While Antiques Roadshow will no longer be broadcast on WGBH or its PBS affiliates, the program will be available as a RealVideo stream at eBay's web site, www.ebay.com. Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ Share what you know. Learn what you don't.