The relaunch comes three months after Tickemaster Online-CitySearch acquired Microsoft's Sidewalk city guide for an undisclosed amount in stock. With the deal, Microsoft took an initial 9 percent stake in the new company.
Microsoft and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch will announce that the revamped guides will be featured in two channels on MSN, the software giant's Web portal, as well as on a new interface for WebTV. On MSN, CitySearch will provide content for its new local channel, as well as for its existing entertainment channel.
"The enhanced local content found on CitySearch city guides is now more extensive than that of any other local portal," said Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch chief executive Charles Conn. "The new distribution channels will enable us to offer local information about live music, events, movies, and other entertainment to nearly 3,000 cities in all 50 states."
Thanks to the merger between Sidewalk and Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, the company is poised to become the top player in online local guides. However, the competition continues to heat up as heavyweights in the Internet and newspaper industries vie for dominance.
America Online's Digital City, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch's primary competitor, continues to ramp its operations. Also, newspaper companies, including the nation's No. 2 newspaper chain, Knight Ridder, are also gearing up for online fights.