Bad deal Hall of Fame

Gemstar-TV Guide International, formerly based in Pasadena and then Hollywood, was one dog of a company when Silicon Valley’s Macrovision bought it about a year ago for $2.8 billion. Since then, it's been trying to sell off so many bits and pieces - at such discounted prices - that there's not much left. Today, Macrovision dumped the TV Guide Network, which is made up of that silly cable channel with all the program grids. Buyer is an investment group that includes former Dick Clark Productions CEO Allen Shapiro. Purchase price is $255 million, which is $150 million lower than had been bandied about as a discount price. The company is also parting with, which attracts 15 million unique visitors per month. Macrovision, you may recall, sold off the print edition of TV Guide to the L.A. investment group OpenGate Capital for the token price of $1. In fairness to Macrovision, this isn't exactly a great time to be selling properties (asset sales are generating $350 million less than originally planned). Still, the $2.8 billion deal never seemed to make much sense, especially since the company had zero interest in so many of the puzzle parts. Now, even the puzzle parts look a little shaky. From the NYT:

The channel offers an endless scroll of television listings for viewers, and averages 108,000 viewers at any given time. In 1999, when the channel premiered in its present form, its slogan was “change the way you channel.” Unfortunately for TV Guide, many viewers have changed the way they channel surf, using the interactive program guides provided by cable companies or Internet listings instead of the old-fashioned network. Acknowledging the change in habits, the network has tried to transform from a utility to an entertainment destination (a la the E! channel) by adding hours of original programming, including TV show recommendations, celebrity profiles, and red carpet shows. Mr. Shapiro said in an interview that the evolution will continue. “Over time, the scroll will essentially be less and less relevant until it’s gone, and then we’ll have a fully distributed entertainment network,” he said. The network is available in 83 million homes.
Bloomberg and Forbes also have the story.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook