Sundance Channel on the Block, Analyst Says

Mar 19, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Sundance Channel has put itself up for sale in recent weeks, according to a report by analyst Richard Greenfield of Pali Capital’s research arm, who cited “multiple” sources.
Sundance had no immediate comment on the report, which said the cable network, with 26 million pay and digital basic subscribers, was seeking a valuation of “at least” $15 per subscriber, or about $400 million, and hoping to get closer to $500 million.
The network, whose revenues aren’t broken out, is owned by NBC Universal, which has a 55% stake; CBS’ Showtime, which holds 35%; and Robert Redford, who co-founded the network 12 years ago as an extension of his nonprofit Sundance Institute.
Mr. Greenfield noted that NBCU recently snapped up cable network Oxygen, which has higher programming costs, for $12 per subscriber.
Mr. Greenfield said pricing issues make it likely that the network, which he believes is profitable, will be sold to a third party, rather than one of the existing owners. Possible suitors include Cablevision, Time Warner and Viacom, he said.

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