As we scooped earlier this month, CBS Corp today announced it has wholly acquired TV Guide Digital, which includes the TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile properties. Under terms of the deal, CBS Corp acquired the remaining 50% stake in TV Guide Digital shares from Lionsgate. The two companies continue as 50/50 partners in the TVGN cable network per their March 26 agreement.
TVGuide.com had been valued at about $20 million, and I hear CBS paid a little shy of $10 million for Lionsgate’s half. I hear DirecTV had been in exclusive negotiations to acquire TVGuide.com, but the talks did not result in a deal. CBS then decided to step in and incorporate TVGuide.com and the TV Guide Mobile apps into CBS Interactive’s Technology, Games and Lifestyle group, which operates similarly TV-focused TV.com as well as CNET, GameSpot, Last.fm, MetroLyrics, Metacritic and CHOW brands, among others. “TV Guide is one of the most-enduring and iconic brands in the world of television and video, and we’re proud to welcome TV Guide Digital to the CBS Interactive family,” said Jim Lanzone, President of CBS Interactive. Here are some stats from CBS’ press release:
· TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile have grown considerably since the creation of TV Guide Digital in 2006:
· TVGuide.com now attracts more than 16.5 million monthly unique visitors, with six consecutive years of double-digit growth.
· TV Guide Mobile apps have been downloaded more than 9 million times and attract more than 2.5 million average monthly visitors (up 100 percent since September) who engage with the brand on average nearly 20 days a month – significantly more than other leading entertainment brands.
· In addition, more than 50 percent of visitors to the site and nearly 60 percent of people who use the apps are under the age of 35.
· TV Guide Digital offers the industry’s most-comprehensive television listings as well as innovative products like “Watchlist,” a popular personalized entertainment discovery feature that helps fans find new shows.