Scripps Networks Interactive will pay cable operator Cox Communications $99 million for the remaining 35 percent stake in Travel Channel, giving Scripps complete ownership of the network.
"Travel Channel is a key asset that presents a great growth opportunity for Scripps Networks Interactive, and one that delivers an increasingly significant contribution to our business. Full ownership of Travel Channel enables us to take maximum advantage of its continued growth as we build value for our shareholders," said Kenneth Lowe, president, chairman and CEO of Scripps.
The deal announcement follows Scripps' disclosure Tuesday during its fourth quarter earnings call that it intended to buy out Cox.
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Scripps acquired a majority stake in Travel Channel in 2009 for $975 million. The network is now Scripps' second-most distributed brand and is viewed in more than 130 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
Ratings-wise, the network has been a middling performer. Scripps is currently rebranding the channel, under the watch of new programming chief Courtney White, who was just hired in December.
Cox hasn't commented on the divesture of the programming asset. But it makes sense amid the overall cable landscape, which is prioritizing broadband connectivity over the provision of video services.
Scripps, meanwhile, also announced that it sold its 7.25 percent stake in Fox-BRV Southern Sports Holdings LLC to Fox Souther Holdings for $225 million in cash. The asset includes the Sports South and Fox Sports Net South regional sports networks.
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