Turner buys 7 Latam channels

TV channels cost company $235 million

Turner Broadcasting System has paid $235 million to buy seven pay TV channels operating in Latin America from Claxson Interactive Group.

Deal, announced late Thursday by TBS prexy-chief exec Phil Kent and Claxson prexy-CEO Roberto Vivo-Chaneton, covers Fashion TV, HTV, Infinito, I.Sat, MuchMusic, Retro and Space. TBS will operate the channels and also rep third-party nets owned by Claxson in the region.

The seven webs reach around 51 million subscribers.

Turner’s top channels — CNN Intl., TNT, Cartoon Network, CNN en Espanol, Boomerang and TCM Classic Hollywood — reach 89 million homes across Latin America, the companies said.

Deal brings TBS’ regional spread to 13 fully owned channels plus 10 that it reps.

Claxson’s major shareholders include the Cisneros Group, owner of Venezuelan broadcaster Venevision, and Dallas-based buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst.

Claxson is holding onto its interests in Playboy TV Latin America, content distrib Digital Latin America and digital music channel provider DMX Music Latin America, as well as a radio chain in Chile and broadband and Internet interests.