Comcast to Acquire Cablevision's Rainbow Media Interest in FSN Bay Area and FSN New England
Bethpage, NY and Philadelphia, PA
Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) today announced that Comcast will purchase from Cablevision's programming subsidiary, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, its 60 percent interest in FSN Bay Area and its 50 percent interest in FSN New England for $570 million in cash.
Upon completion of the FSN transactions, Comcast will own 100 percent of FSN New England and 60 percent of FSN Bay Area, with the remaining 40 percent still owned by an affiliate of News Corporation. Comcast will operate both networks and completion of these two transactions is subject to certain closing conditions.
For Comcast, the transactions add to its growing regional sports programming operations. The sale of FSN Bay Area and FSN New England allows a divestiture by Cablevision of its only remaining regional sports programming assets located outside of the New York market.
"FSN Bay Area and New England are excellent operating businesses and fit strategically into Comcast's portfolio of sports networks. By growing RSNs in markets where Comcast has existing operations, we have a unique opportunity to reinforce our brand image and capitalize on our local presence," said Jeff Shell, President of Comcast Programming Group.
"We have been honored to have operated FSN New England and FSN Bay Area since their inception and are confident that Comcast will only build on our record of excellence for sports viewers in these two important markets," said Josh Sapan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rainbow Media Holdings.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 24.2 million cable customers, 12.1 million high-speed Internet customers, and 3.0 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, four regional Comcast SportsNets and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation's leading entertainment and telecommunications companies. Its cable television operations serve 3 million households in the New York metropolitan area. The company's advanced telecommunications offerings include its iO: Interactive Optimum digital television, Optimum Online high-speed Internet, Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable, and its Optimum Lightpath integrated business communications services. Cablevision's Rainbow Media Holdings LLC operates several successful programming businesses, including AMC, IFC, WE tv and other national and regional networks. In addition to its telecommunications and programming businesses, Cablevision owns Madison Square Garden and its sports teams, the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. The company also operates New York's famed Radio City Music Hall and legendary Beacon Theatre, and owns and operates Clearview Cinemas.