CBS buying 50% of TV Guide Network


CBSCBS Corp. will buy the half stake from JPMorgan Chase’s One Equity Partners unit, according to a Bloomberg story. CBS will pay more than $100 million, said a Bloomberg source, who asked not to be named before the deal’s announcement, which is expected to happen this week.

The tie-in with CBS would give TV Guide Network leverage to raise fees and expand into more of the 100.4 million U.S. homes with television subscriptions. The network, co-owned by Lions Gate Entertainment, provides CBS an added outlet on cable for new shows and older programs.

TV Guide Network, historically a guide to programs on other channels, has added regularly scheduled shows in recent years. The network will receive about 3 cents a subscriber per month this year, compared with 2 cents in 2012, according to estimates from researcher SNL Kagan.

JPMorgan and investor Allen Shapiro acquired the TV Guide Network stake for $123 million in May 2009. Lions Gate had purchased the channel and website three months earlier for about $250 million.

Lions Gate produces the Emmy-winning drama “Mad Men,” shown on the AMC network. The company’s TV unit also produces “Weeds” and “Nurse Jackie” for CBS Corp’s Showtime.

See the Bloomberg story here