updated 1/12/2007 11:22:36 AM ET 2007-01-12T16:22:36

The controlling shareholders of Cablevision Systems Corp., the Dolan family, raised their bid on Friday to take the company private to $8.9 billion and said it was their final offer.

The offer of $30 per share is an increase of 11 percent over their previous offer of $27 per share for the New York-area cable operator, which also owns Madison Square Garden, three cable networks and other properties.

The Dolans had been widely expected to raise their bid. The family owns about 20 percent of Cablevision's stock but controls 74 percent of the shareholder vote through a special class of shares.

A special committee of the Cablevision board has been reviewing the Dolans' proposal.

Shares in Cablevision have been trading above $27 since late October in anticipation of a higher bid.

The Dolans said the latest offer will expire at the close of business Wednesday.

Charles Dolan is Cablevision's chairman, and his son James is CEO. The two have feuded in the past but appear to have settled their differences.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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