Comcast Buys Cablevision’s Interests in Regional Sports Networks

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Comcast Monday expanded its regional-sports-network portfolio by purchasing Cablevision Systems’ interests in FSN Bay Area and FSN New England.

The deal, valued at $570 million, leaves Cablevision with only New York-based RSNs Madison Square Garden Network and FSN New York.

Comcast will purchase Cablevision subsidiary Rainbow Media Holdings’ 60% interest in 4.62 million-subscriber FSN Bay Area -- News Corp’s Fox Sports owns the other 40% -- and 50% stake in 4.63 million-subscriber FSN New England, giving Comcast full control of the service.

FSN Bay Area airs live games from Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics; the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors; and the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks. FSN New England telecasts Boston Celtics NBA games.

The two RSNs join Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet West, SportsNet New York, The Mtn. – MountainWest Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Local Detroit under the Comcast sports umbrella.

“FSN Bay Area and New England are excellent operating businesses and fit strategically into Comcast’s portfolio of sports networks. By growing RSNs in markets where Comcast has existing operations, we have a unique opportunity to reinforce our brand image and capitalize on our local presence,” said Jeff Shell, president of Comcast Programming Group.

Rainbow CEO Josh Sapan added: “We have been honored to have operated FSN New England and FSN Bay Area since their inception and are confident that Comcast will only build on our record of excellence for sports viewers in these two important markets.”

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