A cable TV channel that has a unique feature — some might say a monkey on its back — will soon be put up for sale, with its owner having already hired an investment bank to shop the channel, the New York Post reports.
The channel is TV Guide Network, which has struggled to become known for programming beyond the channel listings scroll that tends to dominate the screen. Owner Lionsgate Entertainment is talking with private equity companies about buying the network, the story reports.
Lionsgate owns the linear network, TVGuide.com and the brand name TV Guide with JP Morgan’s One Equity Partners, while TV Guide magazine is owned by Open Gate Capital, the story notes.
The cable network lost 20% of its audience last year, the piece points out. It has been increasing original productions and has plans for reality shows with TV themes, but it has been hard for the network to gain a new identity given that it has distribution contracts that require it to keep the scrolling TV listings, the story says.
The story reports: “The owners have been phasing out that requirement, with two-thirds of its 80 million homes now seeing a full TV screen without the channel guide. The aim is to have 80 percent of customers seeing a regular show.”