Cablevison Systems is exploring a spin-off of its Madison Square Garden business, which includes the New York Knickerbockers, the New York Rangers, MSG Entertainment,...

Cablevison Systems is exploring a spin-off of its Madison Square Garden business, which includes the New York Knickerbockers, the New York Rangers, MSG Entertainment, MSG Networks, its venues and other properties.

Cablevision did not state what assets might be included, but it has a few other television networks including Fuse and Rainbow. Its Long Island newspaper Newsday probably would not be included since it is a money losing paper, and its death has been threatened a few times over the past few years.

The group’s New York venues include Madison Square Garden, the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the remaining 17 years of its lease in the Beacon Theatre. It also owns the Chicago Theater in Chicago, IL.


How serious Cablevision is about the spin-off is hard to decipher since the statement was the last line in its 1Q report, released on May 7. Also, the company did not go into details during a conference call to investors. Cablevision has expressed interest about selling some of these assets in the past and nothing occurred.

Of course, the process could tell them what the MSG business is possibly worth. Its cable division represents close to 30 percent of its revenues, leaving sports and entertainment at around 30 percent.

Four days after its quarterly report was released, Cablevision stressed that it was not considering the sale of MSG or its related assets since some media felt a sale was a possibility.

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By Bob Grossweiner & Jane Cohen