So Macrovision's (NSDQ: MVSN) buyout of Gemstar-TVGuide will go up for approval before shareholders tomorrow. As we reported before, the deal is expected to go through, as some of the shareholder opposition fizzled away. Macrovision has indicated that it is looking to sell off the publishing and cable assets, which include TV Guide magazine, TV Guide channel and the TVG Network (which is the horseracing channel).
The crazy part that we have heard from sources is that Macrovision does not want to sell off the TVGuide.com website and its other online products (which includes jumptheshark.com, tv-now.com, tvshowsondvd.com and fansofrealitytv.com), which will make it a complicated deal if it happens that way. According to the company, its online networks ad revenues for 2007 increased by $2.8 million, or 27.3 percent, for a total of $12.9 million...TVGuide.com's average monthly unique users increased by 46.4 percent compared to the same period in the prior year.
Most of the executive team of TVGuide will be leaving soon after the deal gets done, though the online team, lead by Paul Greenberg, SVP and GM of TV Guide Online, will stay, our sources say. I am having a hard time believing anyone would be dumb enough to only buy the print magazine, which though it has been turned around to some extent by the TV Guide management, still has no long term future. So I do expect the internal thinking on this to change. More tomorrow after the shareholders meeting
By Rafat Ali