ARMAGEDDON: THE BOSS IN CHARGE OF YANKS, KNICKS AND RANGERS
Cablevision's "new proposal" to buy the Yankees would
give Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner "a hand in running"
the Yankees, Knicks and NHL Rangers, "should he sell his
ball club," according to associates of Steinbrenner as cited
by Charles Bagli of the N.Y. TIMES. Cablevision, which
"revived the negotiations about three weeks ago," would buy
the team for a combination of stock and cash, while keeping
Steinbrenner as general partner of the Yankees "with
responsibility for running all of the company's sports
teams." A source said Cablevision "could spin off the
sports operations as a separate, public company" (N.Y.
TIMES, 9/17). Cablevision released a statement last night
saying it had no discussions to "relinquish either the
control or management responsibilities" of MSG and its
teams, nor do they "expect to have any discussions in the
future" (N.Y. POST, 9/17). One industry exec said
Cablevision Chair Charles Dolan offered "way over" $500M for
the Yankees. Steinbrenner: "Don't drag up old news. That's
old news. I'm not going to do anything." Friends of
Steinbrenner said that they've noticed "signs that he is
considering selling the team, but declined to get too
specific" (NEWSDAY, 9/17). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Jill
Goldsmith: "Wall Street wondered if the highly leveraged
company should swallow another big acquisition."
Cablevision's debt to cash flow ratio is "about" 6.5, with
the industry average being about 5.2. PaineWebber cable
analyst Tom Eagan: "They probably have the highest debt (to
cash flow) level of their group" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/17).
Sportscorp President Mark Ganis, on Cablevision's leverage
if it were to acquire the Yankees: "They could offer long-
term sponsorship deals with the three most visible teams in
their respective sports" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/17).