CBS Corp. (CBS:US) will buy a 50 percent stake in TV Guide Network from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US)’s One Equity Partners unit, said a person with knowledge of the deal, giving the company a new basic cable outlet for programs.
CBS, owner of the most-watched U.S. television network and the Showtime premium cable channel, will pay more than $100 million, said the person, who asked not to be named before the deal’s announcement, which is expected to occur next week.
The tie-in with CBS, which is already carried by the biggest pay-TV services, 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 Corp. (LGF:US), 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.
Chris Ender, a spokesman for CBS Corp., declined to comment, as did Tasha Pelio, a spokeswoman for JP Morgan Chase & Co. Deadline Hollywood reported the deal yesterday.
CBS, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, gained 0.2 percent to $45.98 at the close yesterday in New York. Lions Gate, based in Vancouver and operated from Santa Monica, California, slid 0.9 percent to $22.32.
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 Showtime.
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