CBS announced it has acquired TV Guide Digital, buying up its remaining 50% share of the company from Lionsgate. The deal folds TVGuide.com and its mobile apps into CBS Interactive, which already runs TV.com and other entertainment brands like GameSpot and Last.fm. “It’s a brand that has a nice-size audience, and a highly monetizable category that has a lot of relevance going forward,” CBS Interactive President Jim Lanzone told the LA Times. “That’s why it fits so well with our strategy.”
At one point earlier this year, Yahoo — which is on an acquisition spree — was rumored to be interesting in buying the operation.
TV Guide Digital has been investing in social TV, creating Watchlists, relaunching its popular mobile apps and selling social TV advertising packages. Back in 2011, TV Guide Digital said it was grossing “millions” of dollars on social TV-related campaigns. “Marketers want to extend the value of their advertising dollars by connecting and engaging with TVGuide.com’s audience of social influencers,” said Christy Tanner, GM of TV Guide Digital.
That advertising revenue helped attract CBS’ interest in owning TV Guide Digital outright. CBS Interactive reported revenue up 22% and video revenue jumping 76% in the last quarter.
Last year TVGuide.com “acqui-hired” Fav.TV, a social TV startup.