Cablevision to Spin Off Madison Square Garden

By Andrew Gauthier 

Dow Jones Newswire

Cablevision Systems Corp.‘s board has approved going ahead with its plan to spin off its Madison Square Garden and related assets by year’s end as the cable-telelvision company looks to focus on core operations.

Meanwhile, second-quarter earnings fell 8.1% on hedging losses, more than offsetting rising sales.


Cablevision also reiterated “it is not considering the sale of MSG, any of MSG’s businesses or any other Cablevision business at this time.”

The company said in May it was reviewing a spinoff of the iconic arena and related busineses, which include its sports teams–the New York Rangers and Knicks–and other entertainment venues in New York City. In subsequently raising Cablevision’s credit ratings, Moody’s Investors Service said the move would simplify the company’s business model and reduce volatility in operations and capital requirements.

Under the proposal, Cablevision holders would get a share of MSG for each share of Cablevision.

James Dolan would become MSG’s chairman and remain Cablevision’s president and chief executive. Hank Ratner would oversee MSG’s day-to-day operations and remain Cablevision’s vice chairman.

Dolan said, “The new MSG will be an attractive combination of sports entertainment and programming properties, while Cablevision will continue to house a portfolio that includes industry-leading telecommunications services and popular programming networks. We believe that the combined value of these assets has not been fully realized.” More…