NBC HAS OPTION ON STAKE IN MSG
Published September 23, 1994
GE and NBC have 45 days to buy into Madison Square Garden for $250M, according to this morning's NEW YORK POST. Cablevision, which just joined with ITT to pay over $1B for MSG, "have offered half its stake -- in other words a quarter of MSG - - to NBC to help bankroll that deal." About $180M would be required in cash, the rest in stock or debt, according to terms of the deal contained in a filing with the SEC. Under the terms of a 1989 agreement between NBC and Cablevision's Rainbow Programming Holdings Corp., NBC is entitled to participate in new Cablevision programming ventures. Cablevision's Norm Fein: "They are partners in most of our programming ventures. In the course of normal business where we got into a new venture, they would have the option to participate" (Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST, 9/23). UNCERTAINTY FOR DISNEY? One possible suitor for NBC is Walt Disney, and this morning's NEW YORK TIMES reports that Disney "is suffering the consequences" of Jeffrey Katzenberg's departure -- and that even the company's "interest in acquiring the NBC television network from General Electric ... has been shadowed by the departure." Industry observers are reportedly "watching Disney as if passing a car wreck," and a wide range of the company's arms -- including the studio and theater divisions, interactive games, and marketing -- are troubled. One Disney producer: "It's an incredibly distressed organization. When someone as powerful as Jeffrey leaves, insecurity in the ranks takes a tremendous toll" (Weinraub & Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 9/23).