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Viacom Buys Xfire

It wants into online gaming.
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(VIA) - Get Free Report

said it will acquire closely-held online gaming company Xfire for $102 million in cash.

Viacom is calling Menlo Park, Calif.-based Xfire the premier network through which online gamers connect. The deal will enhance Viacom's youth-oriented MTV Networks, the New York media conglomerate says.

"As part of MTV Networks, Xfire will be better able to maximize its advertising revenues through more aggressive marketing, greater global penetration and comprehensive integration with the company's other digital and cable properties that address the gaming demographic," Viacom said.

Two-year-old Xfire has 4 million registered members. Active users average 91 hours per month, with an average session length of over three hours, according to the company. The software is ad supported and enabled for hundreds of PC games.

"On both a strategic and an economic level, this is a terrific deal for Viacom. Xfire is far and away the leading PC gaming communications and community platform, has outstanding management, and is a perfect fit with our growing digital businesses at MTV Networks," said Viacom Chief Tom Freston. "It's a bull's-eye against our young audiences."

Viacom shares were up 21 cents to $38.99 on Monday.