CBS is in talks to acquire a stake in TV Guide, including
the TV Guide Network.
The move would give CBS a new cable asset. The company
already owns Showtime and the CBS Sports Network, as well as part of AXS,
formerly Mark Cuban's HD Net.
According to a report on Deadline.com
by Nellie Andreeva, CBS will pay about $100 million for JP Morgan's One Equity
Partners 49% stake in TV Guide and become a 50-50 partner with Lionsgate Entertainment,
which owns the balance of the company.
TV Guide Network has long been hampered by the
program-listing scroll that covers a portion of the screen. These days only a
fraction of subscribers get the versions of the channel with the scroll,
freeing the network to focus more on original programming.
CBS CEO Les Moonves has often been asked about acquiring a
major cable company and has said the company would be interested at the right
price and that CBS' programming expertise would enable it to maximize the value
of a cable asset.
A CBS spokesman had no comment.