CBS to Acquire CSTV Networks

Nov 3, 2005  •  Post A Comment

CBS said Thursday it will pay $325 million to acquire CSTV Networks, a company with cable and Internet assets devoted to college sports.

The move comes two days after Viacom co-President and co-Chief Operating Officer Leslie Moonves, who also serves as CBS’s chairman and CEO, said he would consider purchasing cable networks if they complement the assets that are being combined to form the new CBS Corp., which will be spun off from Viacom by the end of the year. CBS Corp. will include the CBS and UPN broadcast networks, Showtime, Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom’s outdoor advertising business and the Simon & Schuster publishing unit.

A person familiar with the transaction said that the purchase of CSTV will complement CBS Sports’ strong presence in the college sports field, which includes its relationship with the NCAA. In addition, the purchase further bolsters CBS’s overall sports franchise, which includes the CBS SportsLine Web site.

In addition to the digital cable channel CSTV, the purchase includes more than 250 official college athletic Web sites run by CSTV Networks as well as the Regional College Sports Networks, which are to be launched in 2006 and will televise sporting events from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA.

CBS said the transaction is expected to close in January 2006. Brian Bedol, CSTV Networks’ CEO and founder, will stay on and report to Mr. Moonves.