January 8, 2008 / 1:24 PM / 12 years ago

Ovation TV buys Universal music channel

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Ovation TV, the arts-themed network that relaunched last year with a focus on making the arts more accessible to viewers, has acquired Universal Music Group’s 24-hour music network International Music Feed.

IMF, which launched in 2005, features concerts, interviews and music videos. The purchase boosts Ovation’s distribution by 60% to 25 million homes.

Ovation TV, which touts itself as the only network devoted to the arts and arts-related programming, launched in 1997 with a focus on classical and fine arts. In June, the channel relaunched with a broader definition of arts programming. Ovation CEO Charles Segars said the IMF acquisition fits into that strategy.

“One of the categories we wanted to broaden was music; about a year ago, we started looking for some sort of acquisition to beef up our original programming and the music programming category,” he said. “This is a great partnership with UMG, which is the world’s largest holder of jazz, classical and world music programming.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Segars said the network paid a combination of cash and stock. UMG will be a minority shareholder in Ovation TV, which was acquired in 2006 by Hubbard Media Group and a group of other private investors.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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