CBS to Acquire Stake in TV Guide, Share With Lionsgate

CBS is nearing a deal to buy One Equity Partners' stake in TV Guide

CBS will purchase half of TV Guide from JP Morgan’s One Equity Partners, with Lionsgate holding onto the other half, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

Though the deal is still being finalized, another individual with knowledge of the deal said the purchase price ranged from just under $100 million to a shade under $120 million.

Buying a stake in TV Guide adds cable network TVGN and TV Guide’s website to the CBS stable of properties, which includes Showtime, the CW and its flagship broadcast network. Both Lionsgate and One Equity have been shopping TV Guide for well over a year.

Representatives for Lionsgate, TV Guide and CBS declined to comment.

Also read: Big Comcast Deal…With TV Guide

Lionsgate bought TV Guide in February of 2009 and then sold a 49 percent stake to rival bidder One Equity and investor Allen Shapiro that May. Shapiro, who had served as chairman of the joint venture, left last October to rejoin Dick Clark Productions as CEO.

Lionsgate and One Equity had been seeking a price around $100 million, according to individuals who looked at purchasing the property. The CBS purchase price was not immediately known.

Also read: Lionsgate Exploring Sale of TV Guide Channel, Break Media

TV Guide Network reaches 80 million homes and in recent years has emphasized original programming and shifted away from serving as a programming guide. The channel's broad audience penetration makes it a desirable cable property, along with its favorable placement on many cable services.

TV Guide.com reaches 6.5 million unique monthly visitors according to Quantcast.com,  a sharp drop from recent years.

TV Guide magazine is owned by Opengate Capital, and is unrelated to the TV Guide network.