Sony Pictures Entertainment on Monday said it has acquired AT&T’s minority stake in the Game Show Network for just over $500 million.
The deal valued AT&T’s 42 percent stake in the cable channel at $380 million, and is also paying dividends of about $130 million. Sony now owns 100 percent of Game Show Network, which carries classic and new episodes of game shows and also has an online and mobile gaming business.
Mark Feldman will continue to serve as president and CEO of the channel. In a statement, Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins said that the deal will allow Game Show Network to “develop and syndicate new game show IP for audiences across the nation, as well as to advance the fast-growing GSN Games business, all of which directly aligns with our strategy of developing targeted direct-to-consumer offerings.”
The deal also ensures that Game Show Network will continue to be carried on DirecTV, the satellite and streaming TV service owned by AT&T. The telecom company has been divesting “non-strategic assets” as it seeks to pay down debt and de-lever.
AT&T has also faced activist investor pressure in recent months from Elliott Management, which has sought to have the company divest some of its assets. Elliott and AT&T came to an agreement last month, which includes a “full review” of the company’s asset portfolio.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect that the Sony statement was from Mike Hopkins.