MTV Buys Teacher Ratings Site

Adding Web services through acquisition, MTV Networks has agreed to buy a professor rating-service for college students named RateMyProfessor.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The site will not only become part of mtvU's online presence, but will serve as a model for other college-related rating services, according to Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU.

"Every time we asked our audience about tools they use online, RateMyProfessor always came up," he said. "Now we're talking with them about how we build on this idea--best dorms, best places to eat around campus."

The move ties into mtvU's larger strategy to connect with college students "on-air, online and on campus," Friedman added. In August, MTV Networks bought Y2M: Youth Media & Market Networks, the parent company of College Publisher, an online college newspaper network. (Since then, College Publisher has grown to include 500 online college newspapers.)

RateMyProfessor.com presently has more than 6.6 million ratings on more than 900,000 college professors, and is visited by more than 10 million college students, according to MTV Networks.

mtvU's online channel currently consists of job listings, philanthropy projects, campus news, music and videos for college students, as well as a campus television production company.

MTV Networks said the acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of March 2007.

Separately, MTV Networks parent Viacom has invested in social networking site TagWorld, PaidContent.com reported Tuesday--citing multiple sources. Friedman, whose mtvU unit would certainly be affected by the deal, said he had no knowledge of the agreement. A spokesman for MTV said the company was not commenting on the report.

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