Cablevision Weighs 'Mad Men' Unit Spin-Off

Long-rumored and an apparent Wall Street preference, Cablevision looks to be moving to spinning off its programming arm that offers drama "Mad Men" and includes the recently acquired Sundance Channel.

Cablevision--where CEO James Dolan declined to comment on the possibility of a split in a recent conference call--said its board has given the go-ahead to explore ways to boost the stock price, including spin-offs.

The Rainbow Media unit is a likely choice--a move that would come after Cablevision recently invested heavily in the Sundance purchase. Also in the portfolio are AMC, which has seen its profile rise with "Mad Men" and the drama "Breaking Bad," the female-targeted WE network and the popular IFC.

Another likely candidate is the New York area Clearview Cinemas unit. And the Madison Square Garden group, with two sports teams, various entertainment facilities and several networks, could be another possibility.

Dolan said that "we have a strong desire to close the value gap between our operating performance and the market value of our shares and therefore, we will be actively looking at options to accomplish that."

Cablevision is one of the country's largest cable operators, with some 3 million homes clustered around New York.



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