Holiday shoppers know all about the larcenous deals to be had this holiday, including my purchase (theft?) of a designer sport coat for $35. Although not browsing off-the-rack, Allen Shapiro and One Equity Partners found their own bargain bin steal in TV Guide Net and TVGuide.com, which they scooped up for an initial $255mln, or 27% less than the low-end price initially sought by Macrovision. Perhaps Shapiro and One Equity are checking their bank statements twice, not quite believing their good fortune. After all, TV Guide Net, whose partial-screen scroll is somewhat anachronistic, is still in 83mln homes. That’s quite an asset. Plus, TVGuide.com counts more than 15mln monthly uniques, a nice number that compares to Disney Online (29.4mln) and ESPN.com (21.7mln), according to comScore. The deal does allow Macrovision to retain TV Guide’s valuable IPG tech and certain online elements, but future possibilities make the new owners’ play a savvy one. Sources said the sale of TVG should follow shortly. The net is now in approx 31mln US homes and operates an online wagering site. $255mln would certainly cover the purchase of those assets, and in true holiday spirit let’s examine the sum from several angles. Assuming a triple-play price of $100/month, the amount could pay for cable services for 213K years; could be used to acquire an estimated 17% in the Boston Red Sox, with $55mln left over for a few players; could provide a delectable $179K in severance pay to each employee set to be laid off by Charter, NBCU and Viacom combined; could be used for an approx 50% stake in Sundance Channel, 39% of Newsday, 28% of Oxygen and 14% of CNET Nets (all prices pre-economic slump); and would do very little in negating Charter’s approx $20bln in debt. CH

Worth a Look: "Dog Whisperer," Dec 28, 8pm, Nat Geo. Yes, we have Ashlee Simpson and Peter Wentz‘s crotchety bulldog, but Cesar’s biggest challenge is food-aggressive retriever Cricket. — "Degrassi in Ecuador," Fri, 9pm, The N. Credit "Degrassi" for teaching teen viewers about the youngest victims of world poverty. — "Our 1st Christmas," Sat, 9pm, Hallmark. This original is so sweet, diabetics best avoid it. More important, can it beat Hallmark’s Dec 13 original, which grabbed a 3.3 HH and a record 5.5mln unduplicated viewers? — "Yo-Yo Ma & Friends," Tues, 8:30pm, Ovation. Props to Ovation for a backstage view of the world’s best cellist recording joyful songs with James Taylor, Renee Fleming and others. More music, less talk would have made it even better. SA

Fond Farewell: "Surviorman," series conclusion, 9pm, Fri, Discovery. It’s his last show after 3 seasons, so you’d think Les Stroud would want an easy place to survive. Nope—his farewell is in the uncharted jungle of Papua New Guinea as he battles Malaria, huge spiders, brutal heat and chronic diarrhea. SA

Notable: "Brotherhood," season finale, Sun, 8pm, Showtime. The brothers Caffee conclude season 3 with Tommy ( Jason Clarke) rising and Michael ( Jason Isaacs) floundering. — "Manny Being Manny," Thurs, 8pm, Comcast SportsNet. Don’t believe in Santa Claus? What about Manny Ramirez‘s July knee injury? SA

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Mediacom Shows Off 10G Smart Home in Iowa

Folks got a first look at what a future with 10G could look like last week at Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home in Ames, Iowa.

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