Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG:US), the sports and entertainment company that owns the namesake arena in Manhattan, hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to explore a sale of its music-TV channel Fuse.
“We have been approached by certain parties expressing interest in Fuse and have retained JPMorgan to explore all strategic alternatives,” the New York-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.
Selling Fuse would let the company’s TV business focus on its more lucrative sports networks, which broadcast New York Knicks and Rangers games. Fuse could be worth $300 million to $400 million in a sale, said Amy Yong, an analyst at Macquarie Group, who has the equivalent of a buy rating on MSG shares.
The music channel, which reaches about 64 million households, competes with networks such as Viacom Inc. (VIAB:US)’s MTV and VH1 and Mark Cuban’s AXS TV. Fuse charges pay-TV providers about 6 cents per month per customer, according to research firm SNL Kagan. That’s far less than what popular sports networks fetch.
Shares of Madison Square Garden (MSG:US), which also owns real estate and sports teams, rose 1.6 percent to $55.99 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 26 percent this year.
The New York Post reported earlier on the potential sale of Fuse.
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