Fox adapts two US websites in bid to attract UK audience

Fox Interactive Media, the digital division of News Corporation that includes MySpace.com, is adapting two US websites from its IGN Entertainment network for the UK.

Both the movie review website rottentomatoes.com and the men's lifestyle site askmen.com are established sites in the US, but do not have a significant presence here.

Fox has started to redirect users keying in the web addresses to UK editions of the sites, hosted at uk.askmen.com and uk.rottentomatoes.com and plans to adapt them to be more appropriate for a UK audience, with UK content. They are understood to be using British journalists.

Representatives from the division have been talking to media agencies about the changes they have been making to the sites, to bring in advertisers attracted to their core young male audience.

Rottentomatoes.com analyses press and online reviews of movies, DVDs and games, rating them an average score by a number of rotten tomatoes. The site also hosts forums, movie news and features.

Askmen.com is an upmarket male lifestyle website, which could compete with UK magazine websites such as NatMags' esquire.co.uk or Conde Nast's GQ.com. It contains sections on dating, women, fashion, money, fitness, and entertainment.

One industry insider suggested that the improvement in content to these websites would prompt collaboration with sister companies Sky and MySpace to provide a significant network advertising buy.

According to US research company comScore, rottentomatoes.com had 3.4 million unique users in October in the US - askmen.com had 2.4 million for the same month. In the UK, rottentomatoes.com had 664,000 unique users in that month, while askmen.com had 455,000.

News Corporation acquired the online video gaming entertainment company IGN Entertainment in September last year for £350m. This followed the acquisition of MySpace.com. Both became part of the new Fox Interactive Media division.

In the US, IGN Entertainment also operates the sports websites FoxSports.com, Scout.com and Whatifsports.com, as well as news site Fox.com, AmericanIdol.com and karaoke site Ksolo.com.

Fox Interactive Media declined to comment on its UK plans.

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