USA Networks Inc., which is about to be debt-free, plans to
start up or acquire one or more cable networks during the next six months, chairman Barry
Diller said last week.
Diller made the remarks without offering any details about
what kinds of networks he is looking to launch or buy during a phone call with reporters
on USA Networks' third-quarter earnings.
"We have the capital resources to start our own ... or
to make an acquisition if something comes along at prices we think are rational," he
USA Networks' current cable stable includes USA Network,
Sci Fi Channel, Home Shopping Network and America's Store.
"We have four, and I can tell you we will have five at
least, or six -- five for certain, I hope for six -- sometime in the next six
months," Diller said.
He added that USA Networks was in discussions right now
about a new network that were close to being completed.
USA Networks currently has $130 million in debt on its
books, which will be going to zero shortly, officials said.
In the third quarter, the company posted a loss of $7.7
million, or 4 cents per share, compared with a pro forma loss of $30.7 million (22 cents)
in the year-ago period. The actual year-earlier loss was $4.8 million (3 cents).
Revenue was $793.2 million, a 24 percent increase from the
year-ago quarter's actual $640.5 million.