TVBizwire

Sorting Out the TV Guide Brand: Lionsgate Close to Sale of TVGuide.com, Rebrand for TV Guide Network Deadline, Variety

Lionsgate is close to a sale of TVGuide.com, with the site expected to go for a figure in the neighborhood of $20 million to $25 million, reports Deadline.com.

Meanwhile, Variety reports that the company is working on rebranding its TV Guide Network.

“The network filed a trademark request for the title TVGN in September, according to public records,” Variety reports. “That could become the name of the new channel as Lionsgate seeks to avoid the confusion that has already enveloped the brand, which is still available as a print magazine published by a separate owner, Open Gate Capital.”

The potential buyer for the website isn't named in the Deadline story, which reports that it's a company that sees TVGuide.com as a strategic acquisition and the buyer is not a private-equity company seeking a quick profit. Variety notes that a separate report named Yahoo as a possible buyer, with a rep for Lionsgate declining to comment on the subject.

Talks could still fall apart, the Deadline piece notes. Lionsgate bought the TV Guide Network and the website in February 2009 for $241.6 million. Lionsgate currently holds a 51% stake in the TV channel, with the remainder held by JPMorgan Chase’s One Equity Partners, Variety notes.

Variety notes that Lionsgate made an attempt to sell the TV channel earlier this year, when Discovery Networks and CBS Corp. reportedly showed some initial interest.

The Variety report adds: “New branding may not only help avoid consumer confusion but give the TV network a fresh identity as it struggles to carve out a distinct niche in the crowded cable field without any standout original programming. The network has yet to get much traction beyond modest followings for second-year series ‘Standup in Stilettos’ and ‘Nail Files.’"