CBS nears deal to buy half of TV Guide Network-reports

NEW YORK, March 22 Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:23pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - CBS Corp is nearing an agreement to purchase about half of TV Guide Network, according to various media reports on Friday.

The New York-based mass-media company is expected to pay about $100 million to buy out the TV Guide Network stake held by One Equity Partners, the private-equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

OEP owns 49 percent of TV Guide Network, with an option to buy another 1 percent. The report said a deal could be announced as early as next week.

Independent film and television distributor Lions Gate Entertainment Corp purchased TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online in 2009 for roughly $255 million and later sold the stake in both properties to OEP.

Lions Gate declined to comment. CBS was not immediately available for comment.

The news was first reported on entertainment-focused website Deadline.