Los Angeles, CA— November 26, 2007— Program Partners and Merv Griffin Entertainment (MGE) announced today a strategic partnership with Oberon Media, the world’s leading multi-platform casual games company, to deliver casual games based on Merv Griffin’s Crosswords™. Under the terms brokered by the William Morris Agency, MGE—the creators of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune—have licensed the nationally-syndicated game show to Oberon Media, which will create online games that will be available for download in early 2008.
Hosted by daytime television star Ty Treadway, Merv Griffin’s Crosswords™ is a fast-paced, new generation“Q&A” half-hour game show in which players compete against the clock and each other in a unique way to solve a crossword puzzle. The series is the #1 new game show in syndication, airing in over 90% of the U.S., including major market NBC-owned stations.
Oberon Media’s intellectual-property portfolio comprises more than 1,000 titles, delivered by its 250 online distribution partners, such as Microsoft, Comcast, BskyB, Sprint, AT&T, Yahoo Games, Verizon, Electronic Arts, AOL Games and NHN. The company recently co-developed and launched the official Merv Griffin’s Crosswords™ website, www.crosswords.tv
A perfect demographic fit exists between the daytime TV game show audiences and the casual games audience, with 60-70 percent of casual online game customers being women over the age of 30.
“Merv loved new technologies,” said Ron Ward, Vice Chairman of MGE and The Griffin Group of Companies.“He had great appreciation for the financial potential in expanding Crosswords online and was eager to participate in creating the downloadable product.”
“We are pleased at the opportunity to come onboard with this exciting new franchise,” said Don Ryan, Oberon Media’s SVP of Publishing.“Merv Griffin was the master of the game show genre, creating such benchmarks as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Crosswords™ is sure to follow in their footsteps and have fans for years to come.”
“An extremely addictive game on television, Crosswords is an ideal vehicle for online play,” said Josh Raphaelson of Program Partners.“Oberon was our partner of choice to bring the game to life online.”
About Oberon Media
Oberon Media, the world’s leading multi-platform casual-games company, is the first company to deliver global, integrated casual-games solutions across online, mobile and interactive TV platforms, following its recent acquisitions of I-play and PixelPlay, respective leaders in the mobile games and iTV casual games markets.
The Oberon Game Center platform is the industry standard and has been adopted by some of the world's largest corporations including Microsoft, Comcast, Verizon, Electronic Arts, France Telecom and NHN. The platform combines casual-game content, merchandizing and features to fulfill each partner's specific needs. Oberon Media's publishing arm works with the industry's best, award-winning game developers to produce the top-selling casual games, which can be played in more than a dozen languages across online, mobile, console and iTV platforms.
Founded in 2003, Oberon Media is headquartered in New York with offices across North America, Europe and Asia, and is backed by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Oak Investment Partners and Lehman Brothers.
For more information visit: http://www.oberon-media.com
About Program Partners, Inc.
Program Partners, Inc. is an innovative television company that collaborates with networks, sponsors and audiences on original programming. Led by a core group of entertainment executives, including founders Ritch Colbert and Josh Raphaelson, Program Partners provides distinctive programs with high production values, while fostering new creative alliances with advertisers, broadcasters and global co-production entities. For more info about Program Partners, Inc., visit www.programpartners.com.
About Merv Griffin Entertainment, Inc.
Merv Griffin Entertainment, Inc. is the television and film production arm of Merv Griffin’s umbrella organization, The Griffin Group. Over the years it has provided original programming and long-format films for television, as well as theatrical features. In addition to“Crosswords,” it currently has the second season of“Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead” airing on Lifetime. See www.merv.com for more information on MGE and The Griffin Group of Companies.
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Melissa Ford/Priority Public Relations
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