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DirecTV Reduces Stake in GSN

Transaction Expected to Close in Q4 11/18/2012 7:00 PM Eastern

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — DirecTV Group said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it has exercised its “put right” to sell a portion of its interest in GSN, the former Game Show Network, to partner Sony Pictures Entertainment for $234 million.

According to its 10-Q quarterly financial statement filed with the SEC on Nov. 7, Direc- TV said the deal reduced its ownership stake in GSN to 42% from 60%. The satellite giant said it expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter.

In the filing, Direc- TV said it expected to recognize a $113 million gain on its GSN interest — the difference between the carrying value of the GSN interest and the selling price.

DirecTV inherited a 65% interest in GSN as a result of its former relationship with Liberty Media, which had obtained a controlling interest in the satellite giant from former parent News Corp. in 2008. Liberty spun off DirecTV — along with its three regional sports networks in Seattle, Denver and Pittsburgh that operate under the name Root Sports — in 2009. DirecTV sold 5% of that interest back to Sony in 2010 for about $60 million, which assumed a total valuation of $1.2 billion for the network.

The latest transaction values GSN at about $1.3 billion. GSN is available in about 73 million homes across the country, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

June