TV Guide Network said Wednesday that it signed a deal with Disney-ABC Domestic Television to acquire exclusive basic cable rights to the hit television series "Ugly Betty," which will be the first scripted series to appear on the network.
The deal includes access to existing and future episodes of "Ugly Betty," which will begin airing weekly in fall 2010.on TV Guide Network, best known for the scrolling TV listings at the bottom of its screen.
In addition, the deal gives a sister Web site, TVGuide.com, the rights to stream up to five "Ugly Betty" episodes at a time online. The agreement also includes rights to air the upcoming season of "Ugly Betty" after it premieres on ABC in the fall. The repeat telecast of the new episodes will air on TV Guide Network within two weeks of their premiere on ABC.
The network and Web site are owned by joint venture comprised of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and One Equity Partners, the private equity firm of JPMorgan Chase. Macrovision Solutions sold the media properties to Lions Gate, an independent Vancouver film studio with substantial Santa Monica operations, in March and announced the One Equity investment in May.
"This acquisition is the first step of a larger, ongoing plan to strengthen our programming schedule and redefine TV Guide Network as a place to watch great television," said Ryan O'Hara, president of TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com, in a statement.
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