Bethpage, N.Y., March 10, 2011 – Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) continues to move forward with the spin-off of its Rainbow Media business. The company announced today that longtime Rainbow Media executive Josh Sapan will become president and chief executive officer of the new public company, and that it will be named AMC Networks Inc., following the spin-off.
The new AMC Networks Inc. will include national programming networks AMC, WE tv, IFC, and Sundance Channel; AMC/Sundance Global, the company’s international programming business; IFC Entertainment, an independent film business that consists of multiple brands; and AMC Network Communications (formerly Rainbow Network Communications), a full service network programming origination and distribution company.
AMC’s parent Rainbow Media won’t be part of Cablevision anymore. After exploring a possible spin-off of its Rainbow Media division for the past couple of months, Cablevision Systems Corp. today announced it is proceeding with the spinoff after getting authorization from the board of directors. The spin-off is expected to be completed by mid-2011. “We are moving forward with the spin-off of Rainbow from Cablevision, which will create two distinct companies – one led predominantly by a premiere cable business and another that houses an attractive portfolio of successful programming assets,” Cablevision President and CEO James L. Dolan said. “We believe this will provide both Cablevision and Rainbow with greater flexibility to freely pursue their own strategic objectives and individual business plans, while allowing investors to more clearly evaluate each of the separate companies’ assets and future potential.” The new Rainbow’s assets will include:
- Cable networks AMC, WE tv, IFC, Sundance Channel and Wedding Central
- IFC Entertainment, which incorporates IFC Films, IFC Productions and the IFC Center
- Rainbow Network Communications, a full-service network programming origination and distribution company.
Remaining part of Cablevision are the cable and telecommunications businesses as well as newpaper Newsday, News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Clearview Cinemas.
AT&T and Rainbow Media just announced they have reached an new carriage agreement for Rainbow’s AMC, IFC and WEtv on AT&T U-verse 16 hours after their most recent extension expired and 10 days before the fourth season premiere of Mad Men on AMC. Here is AT&T’s statement:
We’re very satisfied that we were able to reach the fair deal we wanted for our customers — one that includes the right content, across platforms, at prices that are in line with the marketplace, and that helps us with important strategic content initiatives.
Rainbow Media’s statement might shed light on a key issue in the two sides’ negotiations as it mentions the company’s Sundance Channel as a fourth channel alongside AMC, IFC and WEtv that is covered by the new agreement.
We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with AT&T for AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel that truly recognizes the value of our networks.
AT&T had complained that Rainbow “had been trying to force the renegotiation of a contract for one of their other channels that is not yet expired,” something that AT&T initially resisted.
PREVIOUS 9AM: The midnight deadline came and went, but Rainbow Media’s AMC, IFC and WEtv stayed on AT&T U-verse systems as the two sides continue to negotiate a new carriage agreement. The two companies also went in silent mode as they try to hammer a new deal for some 2.3 million U-verse subscribers. Meanwhile, one of those …