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Lionsgate scoops up TV Guide Network

January 5, 2009 |  5:33 pm

Tvguidelogo_3In a surprise move, Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. has agreed to acquire TV Guide Network and for $255 million, torpedoing a deal announced just over two weeks ago with media entrepreneur Allen Shapiro.

TV Guide Network owner Macrovision Solutions Corp. said in a statement that it had terminiated its previous agreement with an investor group led by Shapiro and backed by JPMorgan Chase. That deal, which was supposed to close in April, was dependent upon various performance contingencies.

Lionsgate, the film and TV studio that produces the “Saw” movies and the TV series “Mad Men” and “Weeds,” said it would fund the transaction from “existing cash and available funds.” Unlike the Shapiro deal, Lionsgate’s pact is not subject to financial performance requirements.

It is not immediately clear what Lionsgate’s plans are for the network, which is available in 83 million homes. But studio Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer described it as “prime real estate, rarely available, that fits extremely well with our strategy of combining content creation, distribution and direct access to the consumer."

-- Claudia Eller