Scripps acquires full ownership of Travel Channel
Scripps Networks Interactive has taken full ownership of Travel Channel Media after acquiring the remaining 35% stake in the U.S. cable network from Cox Communications for US$99 million in cash. The deal closed on Friday (February 25) and includes the value of certain tax benefits. In other Scripps news, the company has sold its 7.25% minority stake in the Fox Sports South regional networks to Fox Southern Holdings for $225 million in cash.
Scripps originally acquired a controlling interest in Travel from Cox in 2009. At the time, Scripps contributed $181 million in cash to the partnership and guaranteed $878 million in third-party debt. This week’s deal puts Travel Channel’s value at $1.1 billion, including debt and tax benefits.
“Travel Channel is a key asset that presents a great growth opportunity for Scripps Networks Interactive, and one that delivers an increasingly significant contribution to our business,” said Scripps president, chairman and CEO Kenneth W. Lowe in a statement. “Full ownership of Travel Channel enables us to take maximum advantage of its continued growth as we build value for our shareholders.”
TVF sends Innovation Nation to Latin America
A+E Networks-owned H2 has picked up two programs from TVF International for air in Latin America. The channel has acquired season one through three of the Litton Entertainment-produced science series Innovation Nation (39 x 30 minutes) and the travel series City Time Traveller (12 x 30 minutes), which focuses on architecture in Asian cities. Innovation Nation has previously been picked up by networks in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordics.
Cosme Lopez departs from Cisneros pay-TV unit
Cosme Lopez, senior vice president and general manager for pay-TV channels and services at Cisneros Media, is leaving the company after more than 15 years. Credited with developing and expanding the company’s pay-TV operations, Lopez most recently established partnerships with Turner Latin America to program its pay-TV channel Glitz, and helped establish a Spanish-language dubbing studio in partnership with The Kitchen at Venevision’s headquarters in Venezuela. His duties will be shared by members of the Cisneros Media Distribution team, under the supervision of Marcello Coltro, EVP of content distribution of Cisneros Media.