Comcast to Acquire Home Team Sports and MSC from Viacom
New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA
Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) and Comcast Corporation [Nasdaq: CMCSK and CMCSA] today announced that Comcast will acquire Viacom's general partnership interest in Home Team Sports L.P. ("HTS"), the regional sports programming network serving the Baltimore/Washington D.C. metropolitan areas. Fox Cable Networks Group is the limited partner in HTS. Comcast will also acquire from Viacom all of Midwest Sports Channel and Midwest Sports Channel Wisconsin (together, "MSC"), regional sports programming networks serving the Minneapolis, Minnesota and Milwaukee, Wisconsin metropolitan areas.
Viacom announced plans to divest its interest in the regional sports networks on May 4, in connection with the announcement that the former CBS Cable operations will be combined with MTV Networks. Financial terms of the transactions, which are expected to close by year-end, were not disclosed.
Mark Rosenthal, President and COO, MTV Networks, the basic cable network unit of Viacom, said, "These highly valued regional sports channels are fantastic properties. Yet, since MTV Networks and Viacom are not in the regional sports business, we're pleased to be selling the channels to Comcast, with whom we've had a long and productive relationship. This transaction is great for Viacom and we are confident that Comcast's strong operational presence in the Baltimore/Washington area will make HTS, along with MSC, among the best regional sports networks in the country."
Brian L. Roberts, President of Comcast, said, "We are delighted to be the new owner and operator of HTS and MSC. We are firm believers in the branding and marketing opportunities that sports programming provides us in key markets. We look forward to partnering with Fox in expanding the HTS business. Of course, we will continue to distribute these satellite-delivered services through all of their existing affiliates as we work to bring top quality regional sports programming to these markets."
MTV Networks owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VHI, NICKELODEON/NICK at NITE, TV LAND, TNN, COUNTRY MUSIC TELEVISION and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of nine digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide. In addition, MTV Networks operates the MTVi Group and Nickelodeon Online, a portfolio of leading Internet properties built to address every interest of today's music fan and Internet-savvy kid.
Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com) is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the provision of programming content. Comcast Cable is the third largest cable company in the United States and, incorporating pending cable transactions, will serve more than 8.2 million subscribers. Comcast's commerce and content businesses include majority ownership of QVC, Comcast-Spectacor, Comcast SportsNet, and The Golf Channel, a controlling interest in E! Entertainment Television and other programming investments.