CBS Acquires 50% Stake in TVGN and TVGuide.com
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) announced today that the companies have entered into a 50/50 partnership for the highly distributed entertainment cable network TVGN and the website TVGuide.com. The basic cable network, available in more than 80 million homes, will continue to be entertainment-focused, with a specific rebranding and programming strategy to be announced at a later date.
The venture will combine CBS’s programming, production and marketing assets with Lionsgate’s resources in motion pictures, television and digitally delivered content. The new ownership structure will be comprised of the company with the #1 broadcast network and many of the top first-run syndication series (“Entertainment Tonight,” “OMG! Insider”) and the studio that distributes the blockbuster “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” franchises and produces such award-winning dramas as “Mad Men.”
Under the terms of the deal, CBS will acquire a 50% stake in TVGN and TVGuide.com. CBS plans to purchase the ownership interest currently held by One Equity Partners (OEP), the global private equity investment arm of JPMorgan Chase. The deal closed on signing today.
“This is a strategic way for CBS to use its content brands and gain access to a highly distributed basic cable network that has a lot of upside,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “Lionsgate, led by my friend Jon Feltheimer, is a forward-thinking content company and a great partner for us here. We’re excited to bring CBS’s programming and production assets to the venture, and work with Lionsgate to rebrand and grow a channel that will be increasingly valuable to our carriage partners.”
“We couldn’t be in business with a better blue-chip strategic partner than CBS or a more visionary CEO than our friend Les Moonves,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. “Their track record speaks for itself, and we believe that the combination of our two brands and our complementary assets will elevate TVGN to the next level of performance and enable it to fulfill its promise as a significant branded entertainment channel.”
Moelis & Company and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz advised TVGN on the transaction.
About CBS Corporation
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand – “the Eye” – one of the most recognized in business. The Company’s operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, outdoor advertising, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS’s businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group, CBS Interactive, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Films and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to www.cbscorporation.com.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 27 shows on 18 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning “Mad Men,” “Weeds” and “Nurse Jackie,” the new comedy “Anger Management,” the network series Nashville, the syndication successes Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” its spinoff “Meet the Browns,” “For Better Or Worse,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” “Are We There Yet?” and the upcoming “Orange Is The New Black,” an original series for Netflix.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of “The Hunger Games” franchise, the 13th highest-grossing North American release of all time, “The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” which has grossed more than $800 million at the worldwide box office, “Warm Bodies,” “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” “The Expendables 2,” “The Possession,” “Sinister,” “The Cabin in the Woods,” “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection” and “Arbitrage.” With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the company has now added the blockbuster “Twilight Saga,” which has grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office, to its current slate, giving the company the two premier young adult franchises in the world.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.