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MSG Networks Stock Spikes on Sale Rumors

Variety logo Variety 4/4/2017 Variety Staff
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Shares of MSG Networks shot up more than 6% in trading Tuesday on a report that the New York regional sports cablers controlled by the Dolan family are being shopped for a sale.

MSG Networks consists of two channels, MSG Network and MSG+, as well as the MSG Go live streaming and on demand platform. The cablers control the New York-area rights to sports teams owned by the Dolan clan, including the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, as well as outside teams such as NHL’s New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres.

The New York Post reported late Monday that MSG Networks James Dolan is looking to sell and has retained Guggenheim Partners to shop the channels. The timing is likely to be tough for putting a pricey regional sports business on the block. The high cost of regional sports channels has spurred the pay-TV industry’s experimentation with smaller channel bundles, some of which will likely exclude sports channels.

An MSG Networks spokeswoman said the company would not comment on rumors. MSG Networks shares were up $1.55, or 6.6%, to $24.48 in the first hours of trading Tuesday.

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