Desperate Times: TVGuide Sold A BuckReally

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Wow, we knew Macrovision (NSDQ: MVSN) was desperate to get rid of the print version of TV Guide, but didn't know the extent to which it would go to the liabilities off its books: we reported earlier this week that it was sold to PE firm OpenGate the price has come out in an SEC filing from MVSN. It is $1, and on top of that, Macrovision is loaning the firm up to $9.5 million, and OpeGate will assume certain liabilities of the TV Guide Magazine business. From the SEC filing: "(a) At the Closing, Buyer shall (i) purchase from the Company the Purchased Assets and the rights to the Licensed Assets, (ii) assume the Assumed Liabilities, (iii) pay to Company an aggregate purchase price for the Purchased Assets and the rights granted to the Licensed Assets of one dollar ($1) (the "Cash Purchase Price") and (iv) deliver the Promissory Note against payment to Buyer of the Closing Loan."

By comparison, as Nat points out in AdAge, TV Guide's cover price is $2.99.

For the first six months of this year, TVG magazine had revenues of $19.77 million and net losses of $1.67 million, according to MVSN's 10-Q for the last quarter. We have it from a source that the magazine has a deferred subscription liability of over $50 million, which means they have collected that amount from subscribers for copies not yet delivered, and in theory owe that money back if they stop publishing. So OpenGate has that liability now with this deal, something that MVSN really wanted off its hands.

By Rafat Ali