TV Guide Cable Channel, Website Sold -- but Not to Original Buyer

Deal With One Equity Partners Terminated as Lionsgate Swoops in for Properties

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Just three weeks after its sale to TV producer Allen Shapiro's private equity firm One Equity Partners, TV Guide Channel and TVGuide.com have found another buyer in the form of Lionsgate.

TVGuide.com reaches 15 million visitors a month, according to the company.
TVGuide.com reaches 15 million visitors a month, according to the company.
Lionsgate, a TV and film company, will buy the combined properties from Macrovision for an estimated $255 million. A Lionsgate spokesperson said TV Guide's parent, tech firm Macrovision, terminated its Dec. 18 deal with Mr. Shapiro's firm today prior to the deal with Lionsgate.

Although the $255 million price tag is less than the $300 million Mr. Shapiro paid last month, it's still a gold mine for Macrovision compared to the $1 deal the company struck with OpenGate Capital for the sale of TV Guide magazine in October.

"This is tremendous real estate, rarely available, that fits extremely well with our strategy of combining content creation, distribution and direct access to the consumer," said Lionsgate's co-chairman and CEO, Jon Feltheimer.

"The TV Guide Network team is excited to be joining a world-class entertainment company like Lionsgate," added Ryan O'Hara, president of TV Guide Network. "This is a great opportunity to continue our transformation into a fully distributed, entertainment-focused network and web platform."

Macrovision came into possession of the magazine, cable channel and website in January when it bought the assets of Gemstar-TV Guide for $2.8 billion.

TV Guide Network is available in 83 million homes and ranks as the 19th most-distributed on cable, making for an attractive property to add to Lionsgate's growing stable of entertainment channels. In October 2006, the company launched FearNet, an on-demand horror channel with partners Sony and Comcast, across Comcast's 30 million household footprint. Later this year sees the launch of Epix, the newly dubbed name of the pay-cable movie channel the company is co-creating with Viacom and MGM. Lionsgate also has a 42% interest in young men's online video site Break.com, and is expected to launch two new channels, Thrill and Kix, in Asia under its TigerGate brand later this year.

TVGuide.com reaches 15 million visitors a month, according to the company. According to Ad Age data, Macrovision's cable revenue was $186 million in 2007, down slightly (0.4%) from 2006. Digital revenue was $13 million, up 28.9% from the year before.

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