Cablevision issued a statement Monday saying it "feels it should make clear that it is not considering (a) sale" of the MSG businesses." The board authorized Cablevision management to explore a spinoff on May 6.
The Madison Square Garden unit also includes regional programming networks MSG and MSG Plus, the New York Knicks basketball team, the New York Rangers hockey team, MSG Entertainment, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theater and the Chicago Theater.
A Cablevision representative had no further comment. Executives apparently felt it was important to halt speculation, perhaps fueled by media reports, that it could put MSG on the block.
The MSG unit -- which also includes the MSG building itself, located on a valuable piece of midtown New York real estate -- saw revenues increase 2.5% in the first quarter to $271.6 million. It was the second-largest revenue-producing unit within Cablevision at large. MSG did, however, post a slight operating loss.