NBA Draft Overnight Lowest Since '12 Reviews Continue To Pour In For Simmons' Show ESPN Public Editor Examines Use Of Virtual 3 U.S. Open Four-Day Average Lowest Yet HBO Debuts Bill Simmons' "Any Given Wednesday" Iger Discusses ESPN, Sports-Rights Deals SI Play Portal To Get Early July Relaunch Media Notes Chiefs To Air Preseason Games In St. Louis MSG's Sabres Deal Worth More Than $200M
UNIVERSAL BUYS OUT VIACOM'S STAKE IN USA NETWORK FOR $1.7B
Published September 23, 1997
Viacom Inc. has agreed to sell its 50% stake in USA Networks to partner Seagram Co.'s Universal Studios for $1.7B, according to Eben Shapiro of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The deal gives Universal "complete control" of cable networks USA and the Sci-Fi Channel. Seagram Vice Chair Robert Matschullat: "USA is not the endgame. We could buy another cable network to go with this. We have the ability to do more." Universal Studios Chair & CEO Frank Biondi Jr. said USA's schedule, which includes sports coverage such as the U.S. Tennis Open, requires only "fine-tuning. You won't see massive programming changes" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/23). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Andrew Collier reports that Universal "expects to retain current management," including USA Chair & CEO Kay Koplovitz (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/23).