CBS Buying Lionsgate’s 50% Stake in Pop Network

CBS said it is buying out Lionsgate’s 50% interest in Pop, giving it 100% ownership of the cable network.

Pop will become part of CBS’s cable network segment and Pop president Brad Schwartz will report to David Nevins, chief creative officer at CBS Corp.

In a memo, Nevins said that the deal makes Pop a “fully integrated part of our global premium content company.”

Related: Pop Renews ‘Hot Date’, Orders Two Pilots

Nevins said the company will explore opportunities where Pop can be part of content and marketing initiatives across all CBS-owned platforms. “We believe that by bringing Pop closer to the CBS and Showtime creative and business operations, we can help unlock value and drive growth at Pop TV,” he added.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“In short order, Pop has made a big impression as a general entertainment cable network that punches well above its weight. Under the terrific leadership of Brad Schwartz, this young network has established a distinct brand with inventive programming and a scrappy, competitive drive that has made them one of only three ad-supported cable networks in the entire industry to grow its total audience for six consecutive years,” Nevins said.

In the process, they have also birthed a signature series with the critically acclaimed Schitt’s Creek, a show that was on 30 year-end best lists in 2018 and continues to grow in ratings every year. Pop has continued their programming momentum with the well-reviewed Flack starring Anna Paquin, currently in its first season, and the upcoming Florida Girls,” he said.

"Going forward, Pop will continue on its path of developing idiosyncratic, comedy-leaning original programming for the network,” Nevins said. “We also see Pop as another important outlet for CBS-produced content, both original series and secondary runs of off-network and library programming.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.