TV Guide Channel Expands Mandate With Series, Movies
TV Guide Channel, recently acquired by Lionsgate, is planning to remake itself into a general entertainment network from one that covers entertainment.
The transformation will begin when the network starts airing movies from the Lionsgate library in June. Eventually the network will change its name, although some entertainment news programming will carry a “presented by TV Guide” brand.
The network also will be acquiring series—it will be bidding on Lionsgate’s “Weeds,” according to network President Ryan O’Hara—and developing original programming.
Jon Feltheimer, co-chairman and CEO of Lionsgate, said a relatively small increase in the channel’s ratings should increase the value of the network from the $255 million Lionsgate paid to the $1 billion-plus at which other fully distributed cable networks are valued.
Mr. Feltheimer said programming developed for Lionsgate has already helped rebrand and bring new audiences to channels including Showtime (“Weeds”), AMC (“Mad Men”) and TBS (“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”)
“I have a high degree of optimism about our ability to succeed,” he said.
Mr. O’Hara said that as the cable network evolves, TVGuide.com will continue as an entertainment news source.
The Web site recorded 17 million unique visitors last month, up 55% from a year ago.