CBS buys half of TV Guide Network

By Steven Mitchell,

Remember the days you would read through the TV Guide and then that evolved into watching the TV Guide Channel? Some younger people today might ask, “What’s TV Guide?” After practically dying away because of cable guides, the once useful resource has sold half its shares.

According to Businessweek, CBS has purchased half of the TV Guide Network and website - tvguide.com - for more than $100 million. The sale came Tuesday and the network is now partners with Lionsgate Entertainment.

“We’re excited to bring CBS’s programming and production assets to the venture, and work with Lionsgate to rebrand and grow a channel that will be increasingly valuable to our carriage partners,” said CBS CEO, Leslie Moonves.

What would CBS want with the TV Guide Network?

Moonves sees the purchase as a strategy. The TV Guide Channel reaches across more than 80 million homes. Channel flickers could now stumble across a CBS program on the channel and lure them in to its newer programs. Moonves didn’t want to add an additional channel to the already hundreds, so instead CBS will just re-brand an existing channel.

CBS bought its half from One Equity Partners. Lionsgate gave $255 million for the channel four years ago and later sold One Equity Partners 49 percent of the channel, reports The Los Angeles Times. The TV Guide Network has been on the market for more than a year now. The two sides were hoping to get $350 million, but it seems CBS made out on the deal.

CBS plans to share its programs, production and marketing skills with Lionsgate and its movies and shows.

Analysts approve of the move made by CBS. ”We think this would be a win for CBS,” said David Bank, analyst with RBC. “Putting CBS content on the network would likely boost viewership and advertising (in addition to affiliate fees).”

No word yet on what CBS and Lionsgate plan to call the channel.



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