USA to Take $100M Charge


USA Networks Inc. said it would incur about $100 million in charges relating
to losses and additional expenses at its Home Shopping Network unit.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday, USA said the charges
are mainly the result of additional payments to cable operators and marketing

USA did not say when it would take the $100 million charge. However, the
company said it paid an additional $4.1 million to cable operators in 2001.
Those payments will increase to $35.9 million in 2002.

Last year, USA sold its 13 broadcast-television stations to Univision
Communications Inc. for $1.1 billion, as well as the broadcast rights to air HSN
24 hours per day. As of January, HSN switched its distribution entirely to

According to the SEC document, HSN lost about 12 million homes as a result of
the switch, which had some effect on operating results.

'Fortunately, sales from broadcast-only homes are much lower than sales from
cable homes,' USA said in the document.

The company added that as a result of the charge, the pretax proceeds from
the Univision sale were reduced to $1 billion.

In related news, vice chairman Victor Kaufman registered to sell 342,946
shares of company stock, valued at about $10.1 million, according to SEC
documents filed Feb. 28.