Fox Cable Networks Group and Comcast Corporation Reach Agreements on Transfer of Cable Programming Interests
Los Angeles, CA and Philadelphia, PA
Fox Cable Networks Group, a division of Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. (NYSE: FOX), has agreed to sell its minority interest in The Golf Channel to Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSK; CMCSA) for undisclosed cash consideration. In a separate transaction, Fox Cable Networks has agreed to sell to Comcast its interests in Outdoor Life Network for undisclosed consideration upon consummation of Fox Cable Networks' purchase of the interests currently held by AT&T Corporation, Cox Communications and Roger Werner. Fox Cable Networks anticipates that the cash proceeds from these transactions will fully finance its acquisition of the interests in Speedvision Network currently held by AT&T, Cox, Werner and Daniels Properties.
On March 24, 2001, AT&T, Cox, Daniels and Werner exercised their options to sell their respective interests in Outdoor Life and Speedvision to Fox Cable Networks Group, pending completion of an independent valuation process. Following the acquisition of the Cox, AT&T and Werner interests in Outdoor Life, Comcast may require Fox to sell Comcast its aggregate 83% interest in Outdoor Life. Alternatively, Fox may put its aggregate interest in Outdoor Life to Comcast.
Upon completion of these transactions, Fox Cable Networks will hold all of the equity in Speedvision with the exception of the minority stake held by Comcast. Comcast will hold all of the equity in Outdoor Life and approximately 92% of the equity in The Golf Channel. Specific terms of each of the related transactions were not disclosed. These transactions are subject to customary closing conditions. Each transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of this calendar year.
Speedvision is the nation's first and only 24-hour network designed for the automotive, aviation, motorcycle and marine information and entertainment enthusiast. Offering an extensive line-up of more than 1500 hours of auto racing, motocross and other related programming, Speedvision will benefit significantly from Fox's extensive long-term relationship with NASCAR that began this February. Speedvision is currently available to nearly 40 million subscribers via satellite and cable providers.
Chaired by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, The Golf Channel is available throughout the United States, Canada and Japan through cable, satellite and wireless companies. The programming schedule includes more live golf coverage than any other network; instruction with world-renowned teaching professionals; golf news and call-in shows; celebrity interviews; and video tours of the world's great courses and specials.
Outdoor Life Network is the nation's only 24-hour cable and satellite network devoted entirely to outdoor adventure programming. Launched in July 1995, Outdoor Life is available to more than 30 million subscribers.
Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com) is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks, and in the provision of electronic commerce and programming content. Comcast Cable is the third largest cable company in the United States and, incorporating a pending cable transaction, will serve more than 8.4 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! Networks, and other programming investments. Comcast's Class Special and Class A Common Stock are traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbols CMCSK and CMCSA, respectively.
Fox Cable Networks Group, a wholly owned division of Fox Entertainment Group (NYSE: FOX), includes the more than 20 major domestic cable and satellite networks in which Fox Entertainment Group or News Corporation (NYSE: NWS) hold interests. Together these networks reach more than 245 million television homes, and represent one of the media industry's largest and most diverse portfolios of major programming assets.