Cablevision Systems Corp. can't get enough of the
Less than one month after purchasing several small New
York-area theaters, the MSO last week acquired 31 Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp.
theaters, primarily based in New York and its surrounding suburbs.
The deal, valued at $85 million, gives the MSO the
opportunity to cross-promote and sell its various cable and entertainment wares to a
significant chunk of the New York-area moviegoing public.
The properties -- which Loews was forced to divest as part
of its merger agreement with Cineplex Odeon -- give Cablevision an additional 45 theaters
and 254 screens, 11 of which are located in Chicago. Earlier this month, Cablevision paid
$160 million to purchase Clearview Cinema Group, which owns and operates 45 theaters
offering 254 screens, primarily located in the New York and New Jersey area.
The deal further extends Cablevision's entertainment
reach within the New York DMA. Along with an extensive cable reach, Cablevision owns Radio
City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and the Nobody Beats the Wiz electronics
The Loews purchase will "enhance Cablevision's
presence in the [motion-picture arena] in the New York area, and it will take advantage of
market advertising and marketing efficiencies," said James Dolan, president and CEO
of Cablevision, in a press conference. "We see these theaters as providing us with
the ability to showcase our products, whether it's in the lobby or in the theater
Although the theaters don't necessarily fall within
Cablevision's cable universe, the company can still market its other New York-based
entertainment properties to create several cross-promotion opportunities.
Dave Checketts, president and CEO of Madison Square Garden
-- which will oversee the day-to-day operations of the theaters -- said the MSO, for
example, could provide coupon packages featuring Cablevision-related discounts to the
millions of Loews movie patrons.
"This gives us a critical mass of movie theaters in a
key market," Checketts said. "When you combine this business with our sports,
entertainment and TV properties, it creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its