Screen Engine Buys TV Program Researcher ASI Entertainment

Four-year-old movie researcher Screen Engine is expanding into TV research by acquiring ASI Entertainment for an undisclosed price.

Screen Engine will continue to focus primarily on film-related research and Screen Engine/ASI will service the TV and advertising industries. ASI principals Beverly Bolotin and Elliot Rosenberg will remain with the company.

The combined entity will have about 50 full-time employees and 150 part-time employees and will continue to be headquartered at Los Angeles-based Screen Engine, which has about 75% of the employees. The new company will also keep operating at ASI’s North Hollywood offices.

As a result, Screen Engine clients will have access to ASI’s focus group facilities and high definition screening rooms equipped with dials.

Screen Engine Founder and CEO Kevin Goetz said, “ASI wrote the playbook on television program testing. It is a great honor to be entrusted to uphold the brand legacy of a company I’ve so long admired.”

Goetz told Variety that he was approached by ASI about a deal five months ago and warmed to the idea because of the potential synergies.

Goetz called the deal a “game changer,” adding, “Our hope is that we become true industry disrupters as we fuse the innovative products that our two companies have built to form the industry’s ‘go-to’ firm for all media and entertainment needs.”

He said, “We will definitely be in an expansion mode.”

Screen Engine’s products and services include concept and market positioning studies, recruited audience test screenings, creative advertising research, media optimization tools, the industry exit polling service PostTrak (in partnership with Rentrak) and Screen Experts focus group panel of leading critics.

ASI Entertainment has been in business for over 50 years and specializes in dial research for TV, advertising, politics and mock juries. The company has conducted research for every broadcast and cable television network.

The deal comes two weeks after newly minted Hollywood market research firm C4 finalized its acquisition of Motion Picture Group’s data assets. Before closing in June, MPG was one of the dominant players in the movie and TV market research sector alongside Nielsen’s National Research Group and Shamrock Capital’s Marketcast.

Isaac Palmer of Qualia Legacy Advisers acted as exclusive financial adviser to Screen Engine and Cypress served as counsel with assistance from Manufacturers Bank. David Bonrouhi of Calabasas Capital acted as exclusive financial adviser to ASI Entertainment and McGuire Woods served as their counsel.

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