CBS Buys Half of TV Guide Network, Partners with Lions Gate

By FOXBusiness

CBS (NYSE:CBS) said on Tuesday it agreed to purchase half of TV Guide Network to enter into a 50-50 partnership with Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF).

CBS did not disclose financial details of the deal, which closed Tuesday and includes On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported CBS was expected to pay about $100 million.

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The stake was held by One Equity Partners, the private-equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM).

With a 50% stake in TV Guide Network, CBS has its first interest in an entertainment channel on cable. CBS owns its namesake broadcast network, and cable networks Showtime and CBS Sports Network.

“This is a strategic way for CBS to use its content brands and gain access to a highly distributed basic cable network that has a lot of upside,” CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement. “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.”

TV Guide Network is known for its channel listings but has branched out to add sitcom reruns, movies and other content, as its listings become outdated with the addition of interactive program guides from cable and satellite providers.

TV Guide Network, a basic-cable offering, is available in more than 80 million homes, CBS said, and it will continue to be focused on entertainment. CBS added it will announce a specific rebranding and programming strategy at a later date.

CBS shares closed at $45.71, up 29 cents, and were inactive in after-hours trading. Shares of Lions Gate gained 2.67% to close at $23.81.