A new ticketing agency called See Tickets goes live in the United Kingdom tomorrow (Feb. 24), in an effort to challenge Ticketmaster's dominance of the sector.

A new ticketing agency called See Tickets goes live in the United Kingdom tomorrow (Feb. 24), in an effort to challenge Ticketmaster's dominance of the sector.

See was formed from the merger of three entities: London-based Really Useful Theatres Ticketing, which served the 13 theaters owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group; Ticketselect, a Really Useful subsidiary that sold tickets for other theaters; and Way Ahead, a Nottingham-based ticketing company that specialized in rock concerts.

At launch, See becomes the country's second-biggest ticketing firm, after Ticketmaster, and the largest with U.K. ownership. Managing director Nick Blackburn says the companies that formed See sold more than 7 million tickets combined in 2003, vs. 10 million sold by Ticketmaster.

"We're easily No. 2 after Ticketmaster, and we think we shall be nearly 80% the size of Ticketmaster," he says. "This is the beginning of a gradual soft launch to start marketing the See brand to consumers after launching it to promoters and [theater] producers last December."

Blackburn joined Really Useful Theatres Ticketing as business development manager more than two years ago from Ticketmaster U.K., where he had been a director.

See has three call centers: one in London for theaters, and two in Nottingham for other live events. The Nottingham centers will be run by See COO Rob Wilmshurst.

The new operation will represent some of the U.K.'s top venues, such as the Really Useful Theatres, Wembley Arena, Earl's Court, Fulham Football Club, Nottingham Arena and several shows in the West End, London's equivalent of Broadway.

"Apart from going to an event itself, the most exciting part is buying the ticket, and some ticket agencies are too cold and ill-informed for customers. Our call centers and Web sites will be manned by people who are interested in the events," Blackburn says.