Time Warner to buy Chilevision for $150 mil

Company touts Chilean broadcaster's profits, ratings

NEW YORK - Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System continues to expand abroad. The company has agreed to acquire Chilean broadcast network Chilevision for about $150 million.

It is owned by Chile's president Sebastian Pinera who promised to sell his business interests, which also include an airline and more, before he assumed the presidency in March. The channel is known for celebrity shows, news and telenovelas. Turner said it is the most profitable free-to-air broadcaster in Chile and "one of the industry leaders in audience and ratings."

"Chilevision is an extremely well-run channel that has posted consistently strong ratings, audience and advertising share, and profitability," said Louise Sams, president of Turner Broadcasting System International. "With this acquisition, our company enters the local broadcast market as a marquee player, furthers our leadership position across Latin America and expands the growing Turner portfolio of international networks and businesses around the world."

The deal requires regulatory approval.The network will be operated by Turner Broadcasting System Latin America, led by division president Juan Carlos Urdaneta. The local management team will remain in place.

Turner has made low-cost acquisitions abroad to take advantage of fast-growing markets away from home. It recently agreed to buy U.K. production firm Shed Media, but has mostly focused on channels, such as India's NDTV Imagine and Central European Media Enterprises, a broadcaster focused on Central and Eastern European markets.

According to a Chilevision spokesman, company executive director Jaime de Aguirre said on the network's news show Chilevision Noticias on Wednesday: "We are going to use the synergies between Turner and us."

The network spokesman mentioned primetime soap "Mujeres de Lujo" and Chile's version of "Dancing with the Stars" as key shows.