SBD/28/Sports Media

TCI-TIME WARNER TALKS OFF, OR IS MALONE JUST "POSTURING?"

     TCI has ended negotiations to buy out Time Warner's 18%
stake in TBS.  Industry insiders said TCI "balked" at Time
Warner's price, about $1.6B or $18/share.  TBS execs declined to
comment.  But in Atlanta, Charles Haddad writes, "The failed
negotiations represent a setback for the company."  That TCI has
stepped away from the table is also "not good news for Time
Warner."  Industry analysts do not see anyone else who would be
willing to pay a premium for its TBS stake.  Time Warner's TBS
stake has a market value of about $980M, but the company says it
will not accept less than $1.6B.  Time Warner has been seen as
one of the roadblocks preventing Turner Chair Ted Turner from
buying a broadcast network (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/28).  Talks
stalled between TCI and Time Warner because the two could not
agree how the deal would be financed, according to today's N.Y.
TIMES.  But several analysts said TCI's announcement may have
simply been a "negotiating tactic" (Mark Landler, N.Y. TIMES,
3/28).  This morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL also notes that people
close to Time Warner insist that TCI is just "posturing, and that
the accord isn't dead" (Shapiro & Sharpe, WALL STREET JOURNAL,
3/28).
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Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner

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