AEG could stop providing venue data to Pollstar and halt advertising in a further escalation of its battle with venue rival MSG.
Trade publication Pollstar was recently acquired by Oak View Group, which is backed by Azoff MSG Entertainment.
AEG and MSG have been trading blows in recent months, with the former deciding earlier this month that acts that play at MSG-operated The Forum in Los Angeles will no longer be able to book London’s O2 Arena. That ruling came after MSG allegedly refused to host artists that chose to play its rival’s 21,000-capacity Staples Center in Los Angeles instead of its own 18,000-capacity Forum.
Now AEG has said in a statement that it has concerns as to whether Pollstar, the long-running publication covering the concert and ticketing industries, can retain “objectivity” following its acquisition. Variety reports those concerns could lead to it stopping its venues from reporting to Pollstar, which would mar the credibility of the publication’s charts.
“A conflict of interest clearly arises when individuals with vested interests in our industry own and control … influential trade publications,” AEG said in a statement.
“We don’t believe that a company that touts its partnerships with others in the business, including affiliated venues, a promoter and a ticketing company, can control publications that impact the music industry and operate them with the perception of objectivity.”
AEG and MSG have been at odds since AEG Live moved most of its venues from Ticketmaster to AXS Ticketing following the 2009 merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.
Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni told Variety website: “Pollstar has always tried to speak to and for all facets of the concert industry, and that has not changed.”
IMAGE: Bertrand (Flickr)/AEG