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SALE OF KNICKS/RANGERS COMPLETE; MSG'S FUTURE CLOUDY?
Published March 13, 1995
The $1B sale of Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers and MSG Network is complete. Seven months after reaching an agreement with Viacom, the ITT Corp./Cablevision Systems partnership "took possession." While no changes are expected with the teams, "cable-junkies could be in for a rude awakening." The N.Y. POST reports that ITT CFO Bob Bowman recently addressed the fate of MSG Network: "I don't know why MSG considers that they've got to have a live event on at 2:00am. ... I don't know why MSG has to have live sports for 30 minutes at 11:00pm. I don't know anybody who watches it." Bowman made the comments to a group of Wall Street analysts last year. "However, there is no mention that the network will be scrapped." ITT's partner, Cablevision, runs SportsChannel New York. The transcript of Bowman's remarks "also notes that many of MSG's other operations might also go." Among them is MSG Enterprises, which books concerts and events. Said one ITT insider: "I didn't even know it was there until we bought it" (N.Y. POST, 3/11). The payment to Viacom was about $66M less than agreed to when the plan was announced in August 1994 because of closing adjustments (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/13).