Screenvision and National CineMedia, the titans of the cinema pre-show advertising and featurette arena, were poised to become one titan last May, under a $375 million merger. Like Comcast and Time Warner Cable at that time, the outlook was sunny for a done deal. After the Justice Department signaled their intention to block the merger on antitrust grounds, Screenvision and NCM separated out of their effort three months ago. If you didn't know all that, and attended their individual Upfront showcases over the last two weeks, you would never know that they were on track to combine and service 36,000 screens inside 4,000-plus theaters nationwide.
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