Net Game: FCC Ruling Could Expand Tennis Channel's Distribution, Increase Sale Value
Tennis Channel "could be on the block by the end of the year if regulators agree to hand it another 20 million households," according to sources cited by Claire Atkinson of the N.Y. POST. Sources said that a "positive decision in the matter, pending before the Federal Communications Commission, would lift the Tennis Channel's distribution from 34 million homes to more than 50 million -- boosting its value and tilting its owners' minds toward a sale." Sources added that with an "expanded distribution platform, the value of the Tennis Channel could leap" from its current $300-400M "up to roughly" $1B. Bankers are "eyeing the independent network ahead of a likely distribution expansion." A source said an FCC judgment in Tennis Channel's favor is "likely." The source added that the FCC "may decide the issue as early as next month." Tennis Channel was created in May '03, and is part-owned by an investor group that includes Apollo Partners, Bain Capital, Battery Ventures, CCMP Capital Advisors and Columbia Capital. Sources said that the net's "annual revenue is around" $100M, and it is "close to being profitable" (N.Y. POST, 6/26).