TVG Sale Process 'Moving Foward'

TVG Sale Process 'Moving Foward'
TVG, which posted partial-quarter net revenues of $8.8 million for new owner Macrovision Solutions Corp. Aug. 7, is still on the sales block. Officials with the parent company said the horse racing network has received multiple inquiries from undisclosed suitors.

Macrovision reported net revenues of $103.5 million in its second quarter, and pro forma revenues of $148.6 million, based on projected full-quarter data published as if the company had owned TVG and other properties formerly owned by Gemstar-TV Guide International. The acquisition was made May 2.

TVG’s pro forma full-quarter revenues of $13 million, which represents 8.7% of all company-wide calculated revenues, was cited as an 11.7% decline as compared to what would have been produced had Macrovision owned the horse racing network last year. Fred Amoroso, Macrovision president and chief executive officer, said the division that included TVG lagged behind overall company performance during the quarter.

“We grew pro forma net revenues 11% despite weakness in media advertising and horse racing wagering sectors,” said Amoroso during an Aug. 6 conference call with financial analysts and investors.

Macrovision has packaged TVG and other former Gemstar properties such as TV Guide magazine and TV Guide Network into a divestiture package it has pegged at a total sales windfall of $350 million to $550 million.

Amoroso, who said TVG increased its domestic household penetration to a record 30.6 million homes and 16 states, said another owner would likely find success with the horse racing network if it had a “more aggressive marketing strategy” than Macrovision does.

“We are currently moving the (sales) process forward,” said Amoroso, adding there had been “dozens” of meetings held involving all the former Gemstar properties. “Phase one is done. Phase two will be the next level of information and diligence.”

Amoroso, who said the company hopes to have all of the former Gemstar properties sold by the end of the year, added that certain prospective buyers have been given purchase agreements so “they can work through their diligence.” He said the interest had come from both “financial and strategic” parties.

“My desire is to have everything closed before year-end,” he said. “But I may need a little wiggle room (to close the transactions).”

Wagering company, which already has business relationships in place with TVG, said Aug. 5 it was examining merger possibilities with the horse racing network. Other groups, including a racetrack entity or two, are also rumored to be in the mix.

Break-out handle information was not released for TVG, but Amoroso said total wagers were up 9%, which would translate to about $136 million, a second-quarter record for the network. TVG processed $125 million in wagers in the second quarter of 2007, which was then a high-mark for that financial period.

TVG’s pro forma revenues year-to-date were calculated at $21.6 million, or a 17.3% decline.

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