Another day, another example of the constantly evolving television landscape. According to Ad Age, cable channel the TV Guide Network (formerly the TV Guide Channel) plans on dropping its scrolling television listings in order to focus on entertainment/reality programming. The cable channel is no longer connected with the print magazine that shares its name; Lionsgate owns TV Guide Online (tvguide.com) and the TV Guide Network while TV Guide, the magazine, and its website (tvguidemagazine.com) are owned by OpenGate Capital.
Until recently, of course, they were all owned by Gemstar-TV Guide Intl. Here’s a time line of how the once mighty TV Guide empire fell apart, with links to Variety.com articles:
- May 2008: Macrovision takes over Gemstar-TV Guide Intl.
- September 2008: Macrovision puts TV Guide Network up for sale
- October 2008: OpenGate buys TV Guide Magazine for $1
- January 2009: Lionsgate buys TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online
- March 2009: Lionsgate officially new owner of TV Guide Network/TV Guide Online
In this digital age it almost seems quaint to turn to a printed magazine for your television listings. Personally, I use Zap2it’s online listings exclusively. Many newspapers still include television listings, although they may be limited. As for the TV Guide Network, it has been dropped by some cable systems in favor of specified digital listings. I expect it is only a matter of time before TV Guide itself ceases publication and becomes online only.
If you’d like to take a brief trip back in time to a period when TV Guide reached tens of millions, take a look some TV Guide Promotional Spots from the 1970s and 1980s.