Barry Diller has taken control of USA Networks and Universal Studios Television Production & Distribution, both units of Seagram Co. Mr. Diller, chairman-CEO of Home Shopping Network, will have his company pay $4 billion in stock plus $1.2 billion in cash. A new joint venture will be formed to include USA Networks (including both the flagship USA Network and Sci-Fi Channel), HSN, Mr. Diller's 25 TV stations, Ticketmaster and HSN's Internet operations. Tele-Communications Inc., through its Liberty Media division, is a part owner of HSN; it will initially own 15% of the new joint venture, with an option to take up to 25%. Seagram will own 45% of the joint venture, which will adopt the USA Networks name. No mention was made in the announcement of either Greg Meidel, chairman, Universal TV group, or Kay Koplovitz, CEO of USA Networks, or any other USA executive.
Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.