CBS Corp. has acquired a minority ownership stake in AXS TV
in exchange for providing the eight-month-old cable channel with access to its
live event programming.
Under the multiyear commitment, AXS will gain rights to
replays and shoulder programming around live CBS content like the Grammys,
Tonys, Academy of Country Music Awards and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Terms of the transaction, including CBS' percentage stake,
were not disclosed.
"CBS is happy to provide AXS TV with live event content as
the basis of this partnership," said CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie
Moonves. "This is an innovative way to use our tentpole programming to gain
more ownership in the cable network business. AXS TV will now serve as a
terrific complement to our existing broadcast television entertainment
has previously mentioned wanting to own a general entertainment cable
network like his competitors Disney, NBCUniversal and News Corp. do. Under the
new partnership, Mark Cuban will continue to lead the network as president and
launched in July 2012 as a joint venture from Mark Cuban Companies, AEG,
Creative Artists Agency and Ryan Seacrest Media, replacing HDNet. It currently
has 38 million subscribers and is available in HD and standard-definition.