TBS to buy Latin American nets


MEXICO CITY -- Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System has inked a deal with multimedia company Claxson Interactive Group to acquire seven pay TV networks in the Latin American market.

The deal is valued at $235 million, TBS said in a statement Thursday.

Under the agreement, TBS Latin America will own and operate Fashion TV, HTV, Infinito, I.Sat, MuchMusic, Retro and Space, which reach a combined 51 million viewers across the region. TBS also will assume sales representation rights for Claxson and third-party owned networks
in Latin America.

With the new acquisitions, Turner Broadcasting will have 13 networks and 10 represented networks. TBS Latin America's top networks are CNN International, TNT, Cartoon Network, CNN en Espanol, Boomerang and TCM Classic Hollywood.

Claxson said it will maintain its interests in Playboy TV Latin America, Digital Latin America, DMX and MUSIC Latin America. It also will keep its broadcast radio business in Chile and its broadband and Internet division.

Philip Kent, chairman and CEO of TBS, said the deal allows his company to expand its television networks business "with local-language programming for the growing Latin American market."