Above: If you can stand to watch the Knicks play...

Sports fans in San Francisco, Seattle, Houston and San Antonio will have a new way to search or the best deals on tickets. New York startup SeatGeek is partnering with Hearst to power ticket search on the websites for four of the media giants biggest metro newspapers. It’s another prominent partnership for a small company that has been on a hot streak in the last year.

SeatGeek crunches data to tell customers when the best time is to buy tickets on secondary markets like Stubhub, ebay, and TicketsNow. It also models stadiums to give users a sense of where they can get the best view and weighs that against price to give consumers a verdict on which seats are the best deal overall.

“SeatGeek has a compelling platform,” said Karen Brophy, Vice President and Director of Digital Product at Hearst. “This partnership helps to solidify our flagship sites as one-stop destinations for readers to tap into the best of what their local area has to offer.”

In October of 2010 SeatGeek partnered with Yahoo, one of the biggest portals for online sports, and eclipsed its older, better funded rival, FanSnap, in terms of traffic. In December FanSnap was acquired, reportedly not for a big premium over their venture funding, leaving SeatGeek to lead the pack of search engines for tickets on the secondary market.

More recently SeatGeek expanded beyond sports to cover tickets for concerts and theatrical. It launched Columbus, a sort of Pandora for live events, which learns users’ tastes and recommends upcoming shows.

Two of the papers in this new partnership, The San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle, are in the top ten nation wide in terms of monthly unique visitors and pageviews, so the Hearst partnership is likely to be a big boost to SeatGeek’s revenue.


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