So much for Cablevision (CVC) selling its Rainbow Media unit; the Dolans just paid NBC U, CBS and Robert Redford $496 million to add to it. Cablevision acquired Redford’s Sundance Channel and will fold it into Rainbow, which includes AMC, IFC and WE cable TV networks.
No doubt Wall Street will like this acqusition more than Cablevision’s $650 mllion bid for Tribune’s troubled Newsday, or the Dolan’s reported talks about a deal with Barry Diller to invest in concert promotions business AEG Live.
Cablevision’s Rainbow Unit has two other movie-related channels, one of which (IFC) it launched as a competitor to Sundance. Pali Research analyst Rich Greenfield predicts Cablevision will shutter IFC and merge the two.
Sundance’s programming is 30% original series and 70% independent film. Last year Rainbow Networks had its first big programming hit with AMC’s “Mad Men.”