CBS Takes Minority Stake in AXS TV - Multichannel

CBS Takes Minority Stake in AXS TV

Cable Net Gains Access to Grammys, Tonys under Multiyear Agreement
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CBS Corp. has acquired a minority ownership stake in AXS TV in exchange for providing the eight-month-old cable channel with access to its live event programming.

Under the multiyear commitment, AXS will gain rights to replays and shoulder programming around live CBS content like the Grammys, Tonys, Academy of Country Music Awards and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Terms of the transaction, including CBS' percentage stake, were not disclosed.

"CBS is happy to provide AXS TV with live event content as the basis of this partnership," said CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves in a statement. "This is an innovative way to use our tentpole programming to gain more ownership in the cable network business. AXS TV will now serve as a terrific complement to our existing broadcast television entertainment programming."

Moonves has previously mentioned wanting to own a general-entertainment cable network like his competitors Disney, NBCUniversal and News Corp. do. Under the new partnership, Mark Cuban will continue to lead the network as president and CEO.

AXS bowed in July 2012 as a joint venture from Mark Cuban Companies, AEG, Creative Artists Agency and Ryan Seacrest Media, replacing HDNet. It currently has 38 million subscribers and is available in HD and standard-definition.