Cablevision eyes Rainbow spin-off

Even as Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) moves ever-so-slowly towards becoming more of an integrated pipe-content provider, its fellow MSO Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) is looking for ways to spin off its Rainbow Media Holdings business to its stockholders via a tax-free pro-rate distribution. The move would, at least on the surface, make Cablevision less vertically integrated and more agile in pursuing cable telecommunicaitons.

According to a Cablevision news release, Rainbow "houses an attractive portfolio of programming assets" and a spin-off "has the potential to enhance the value of that business and Cablevision" so that each company has "greater flexibility to pursue strategic objectives." Cablevision spun off Madison Square Garden earlier this year.

Programming elements to be spun off include networks AMC, WE TV, IFC, Sundance Channel and Wedding Central; IFC, an independent film business; and Rainbow Network Communications network programming origination and distribution. Cablevision would retain its cable and telecom business; Newsday newspaper; News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Clearview Cinemas.

As a last note, Cablevision added it is "not considering the sale of Rainbow or its cable and telecommunications business."

For more:
- see this news release

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