This afternoon CBS acquired a minority stake in AXS TV, the cable channel formerly known as HDNet.
In addition to CBS, AXS is owned by Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, live events company AEG and talent agency CAA. According to the companies, CBS will provide the network with live programming, and will offer marketing support.
The deal also reunites CBS with Dan Rather, the former “CBS Evening News” anchor.
AXS is the TV home for “Dan Rather Reports,” the investigative journalism series Rather launched after his memorable and ignominious departure from the broadcaster. Rather and CBS ended their decades-long partnership after a story about President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service was put in doubt. Rather would end up suing CBS, spending more than $2 million of his own money on the lawsuit.
By becoming a minority owner in AXS, CBS now has a rooting interest for “Dan Rather Reports” to succeed.