Ovation claps for Int’l Music

Cable channel buys music network

Ovation TV, the 24/7 cable network devoted to culture and the arts, has bought a music-oriented network from Universal Music Group called the Intl. Music Feed.

Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation, declined to reveal the purchase price, saying only that the network will pay some cash and give UMG an equity stake in Ovation.

Almost all of the IMF’s subscriber count comes from the 8 million or so who get it through Dish Network. Ovation will take over the IMF dial position on Dish; the new subs will swell Ovation’s overall total to 25 million cable and satellite homes. By the end of 2008, Ovation is predicting as many as 30 million subs.

Even though IFM will cease operations as a standalone network, Segars said Ovation plans to use IFM’s inventory of music programming, including lots of jazz and classical performances, as “a key element” in the network’s program lineup.

Segars and Ken Solomon, chairman of Ovation TV, engineered the deal with Nick Henny, vice chairman and chief financial officer of UMG.

Ovation is owned by the Weinstein Co., the Hubbard Media Group, Arcadia Investment Partners, Corporate Partners II and Perry Capital.