TV Guide Digital has fared well between its web portal and mobile apps, but part-owner CBS thinks there's a lot of potential locked away. Enough so, in fact, that CBS is taking over TV Guide Digital by acquiring Lionsgate's remaining 50 percent stake in the venture. The media giant now has full control of both TVGuide.com and the TV Guide Mobile apps, both of which are folding into CBS Interactive's Technology, Games and Lifestyle division. CBS mostly hopes that the deal will make it a font of wisdom for channel surfers -- it sees TV Guide Digital's rapidly growing audience and programming knowledge as complements to TV.com. We don't yet know how the acquisition will affect the TV Guide properties themselves, but we'd expect more than just the status quo.
CBS Corporation Wholly Acquires TV Guide Digital, Including TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile
Joins CBS Interactive's Industry-Leading Portfolio of Brands, Including CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CBSNews.com, CNET, GameSpot, TV.com, Last.fm and More
SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) today announced it has wholly acquired TV Guide Digital, which includes the popular TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile properties. Under the terms of the deal, CBS Corporation acquired the remaining 50 percent stake in TV Guide Digital shares from Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF). CBS and Lionsgate's 50/50 partnership for the highly distributed TVGN cable network, announced on March 26, will continue.
TVGuide.com and the TV Guide Mobile apps will become part of CBS Interactive's Technology, Games and Lifestyle group, which also operates TV.com, the web's largest social media TV site, as well as the industry-leading CNET, GameSpot, Last.fm, MetroLyrics, Metacritic and CHOW brands, among others. Together, TVGuide.com, TV Guide Mobile and TV.com will give fans the most-comprehensive information about the programming they love.
"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. "TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile have the biggest and most-engaged audiences in the valuable TV information category, making them a perfect fit for our portfolio of premium content brands."
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.
TV Guide Digital's properties are the latest addition to CBS Interactive's portfolio of more than 25 premium brands, including CBS.com, CBSSports.com, CNET, GameSpot, TV.com, Last.fm and more. CBS Interactive, a perennial top 10 Internet property, delivers advertisers unmatched scale to reach audiences across key verticals like entertainment, news, sports, technology, gaming, music and more.