Thursday
Jul302009

Full-Court Press: Cablevision Moves To Spin-Off Madison Square Garden Business

July 30, 2009: In a move that will both fascinate and infuriate followers of the New York Knicks and Rangers, Cablevision Systems Corp. said that its board of directors has authorized the spin-off of the Madison Square Garden business to Cablevision stockholders. Following a favorable ruling from the IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as final approval by Cablevision’s board of directors, Cablevision shareholders would own shares in both Cablevision and the new MSG. That would allow shareholders "to more clearly evaluate each of the separate company’s assets and future potential," according to Cablevision.

Once completed, James Dolan would become executive chairman of the new, public Madison Square Garden and would continue in his present role as president and CEO of Cablevision. Hank Ratner would be president and CEO of Madison Square Garden and would remain Cablevision’s vice chairman. Charles Dolan would continue in his role as Cablevision’s chairman.

The new MSG’s assets will include the NBA's Knicks, NHL's Rangers and WNBA's New York Liberty; such media properties as MSG, MSG Plus and Fuse networks, as well as MSG Interactive’s collection of online assets; Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Chicago Theatre, The Wang Theatre (Boston)l and other venues; and a live entertainment portfolio,including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, as well as concerts, family shows and special events

Cablevision also reiterated that it is "not considering the sale of MSG, any of MSG's businesses or any other Cablevision business at this time."

"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," James Dolan said in a statement. "We believe that the combined value of these assets has not been fully realized, and that this transaction will be beneficial to shareholders as both Cablevision and MSG freely pursue their own individual business plans.” Back to Home Page