If you watch “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel, then you’re well aware of host Anthony Bourdain’s lovably outsized ego. The chef/adventurer/foodie sex symbol/vegetarian hater is clearly in love with himself, and we’re OK with that.
Well, Tony’s gotta be loving this. Because his network — fuelled in part by his show — could soon exchange parent companies for somewhere in the ballpark of $1 billion, the New York Times is reporting.
Cox Communications, which owns the cable channel, is currently in a bidding war with Rupert Murdoch’s News. Corp in the lead, which might not exactly enthuse Tony, who’s anti-establishment as well as pro-meat.
Via the Times:
When Cox was first approached about a potential sale in June, analysts said the channel could command $600 million to $700 million. The cable company said that month that it had retained Goldman Sachs to weigh its strategic options for the channel, and it has not commented since then.
By the ratings and revenue metrics of cable channels, the Travel Channel is undistinguished. The channel, which counts “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “Man v. Food” as its most popular shows, is distributed in nearly 100 million homes, but it earns on average just 6 cents per subscriber. It draws a modest average of 485,000 viewers in prime time.
But cable channels with wide distribution rarely come up for sale. And the hefty valuations attest to the appeal of the cable business, with its duel revenue streams from advertisers and subscribers.
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