CBS Shares Down on Talk of Buying Stake in TV Guide Network

CBS (NYSE:CBS) shares were trading lower Monday after a report from The Wall Street Journal said the media giant is nearing a deal to buy about half of TV Guide Network.

According to the report, CBS is expected to pay about $100 million for a 49% stake currently held by One Equity Partners, the private-equity army of J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). The deal, which could be announced as early as next week, would include an option to buy an additional 1%.

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Shares of CBS were down 29 cents at $45.69 Monday morning.

A stake in TV Guide Network, which is known as a source of television listings, would give CBS its first interest in an entertainment channel on regular cable services. While those listings have become less relevant given that cable and satellite providers offer their own interactive programming guides, TV Guide Network has made an effort to provide more entertainment content, which airs alongside the listings.

The newspaper report noted that part of TV Guide Network’s appeal for CBS is its extensive reach. The network is available in more than 80 million U.S. households, and the only cable channels currently owned by CBS are Showtime and CBS Sports.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS), which is also the parent company of FOX Business.

In 2009, OEP purchased its stake for $123 million from Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF), which still owns the remaining half.

Lions Gate Entertainment shares were up 34 cents, or 1.53%, to $22.66 Monday morning.