Market Overview

CBS Buys TV Guide Digital After Six Years of Website Growth (CBS, LGF)

TVGuide.com may not be as informative as Variety or as entertaining as Entertainment Weekly, but when viewers want to know what's on television, TV Guide leads the pack.

The site has experienced double-digit growth over the last six years. It is now visited by more than 16.5 million individuals every month.

After experiencing so much growth, CBS (NYSE: CBS) -- the network best known for sports and America's most popular dramas and sitcoms -- has decided to add TV Guide Digital to its family.

By acquiring TV Guide Digital, CBS will gain control of TVGuide.com, as well as the TV Guide Mobile property. While Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) will sell its stake in the company to CBS, it will retain its 50 percent stake in the TV Guide Network cable channel. CBS and Lionsgate will continue to run the network together.

In addition to TVGuide.com, CBS currently runs TV.com, CNET, GameSpot, Last.fm, MetroLyrics, Metacritic and CHOW.

"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, as quoted in a company release. "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 is not the only TV Guide property experiencing growth. The various TV Guide Mobile apps have been downloaded more than nine million times. On average, they attract more than 2.5 million unique visitors every month.

In its formal announcement, CBS said that these visitors "engage with the brand on average nearly 20 days a month -- significantly more than other leading entertainment brands."

CBS also bragged about the fact that more than 50 percent of its site visitors (and nearly 60 percent of people who use the apps) are under the age of 35. This is significant because advertisers love young consumers. The broad 18-49 age demographic is desired by most TV networks and websites, but they would love to have consumers within the 18-34 age range. TVGuide.com seems to have achieved that goal.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: CBS Lionsgate TV GuideNews M&A Success Stories Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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