SBD/Issue 221/Franchises

Cablevision Could Be Considering Selling Sports-Related Assets

Cablevision, following its $650M acquisition of Newsday, is considering ways to "improve shareholder value," including "regular dividends, a stock buyback plan and possible spinoffs of business units," such as the Knicks, NHL Rangers and MSG, according to Tim Arango of the N.Y. TIMES. However, Cablevision's "higher-profile assets,"  are hard "for investors to value." Cablevision said that it "planned to hire investment bankers and other advisers to consider various strategies" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/6). Collins Stewart analyst Thomas Eagan "estimates [MSG] could bring $1.2[B]" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/6). The AP's Jeremy Herron noted since Cablevision "has intertwined contracts among the teams, [MSG] and MSG Network ... it could be hard to place a value on them," meaning "there could be a problem for potential buyers." Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist said that the Knicks "would be worth about $500[M] and the Rangers about $300[M]." Zimbalist "estimated average annual revenue for a NBA team is $150[M]" (AP, 8/5).

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