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Biz Briefs

Jun 16, 2003  •  Post A Comment

WWE Entertainment on Wednesday bought back the 2 million shares that Viacom owned after the media giant determined its stake in the entertainment company was no longer strategic. At Wednesday’s close the value of the stake was around $19.2 million, based on a close of $9.60 a share.
The sale represented just 3 percent of the shares outstanding in Stamford, Conn.-based WWE, whose properties include television’s “WWE Smackdown” and “WWE Raw.”
A WWE spokesman stressed that the sale in no way affects the strategic alliance that WWE has with Viacom, which includes telecasting its wrestling shows on the UPN broadcast and Spike TV cable networks and publishing deals through the media company’s Simon & Schuster unit.
Viacom officials said the sale of the WWE stake reflects the company’s ongoing review of its portfolio.
TiVo, Gemstar to Share Content
TiVo and Gemstar-TV Guide International last Monday inked an agreement in which the two companies will share technologies and content and dismiss litigation between the two firms. Both companies refused to release financial terms of the agreement. As part of the pact, Gemstar-TV Guide will take a patent license from TiVo, while Gemstar-TV Guide will supply TV Guide-branded entertainment content to TiVo.
Disney, Wal-Mart in Kim Possible Deal
Walt Disney Co.’s consumer products unit on Tuesday teamed up with Wal-Mart Stores to sell exclusively through the retail giant merchandise based on the Kim Possible animated character whose show is aired on the Disney Channel. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the terms of the agreement, a host of products will be sold exclusively through Wal-Mart’s stores starting this summer.