Liberty Media eyes Cablevision unit

/ Source: Reuters

Liberty Media Holding Corp. Chairman John Malone is gauging the interest of Cablevision Systems Corp.'s controlling family in selling its Rainbow Media unit, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Post said the talks amount to "informal chatter between friendly moguls."

Rainbow Media, which manages the AMC, IFC and WE: Women's Entertainment cable television networks, is a subsidiary of Cablevision, which is controlled by the Dolan family.

The talks could become more serious as Cablevision shareholders become increasingly restless with the company's silence on a decision on the family's $19.2 billion buyout proposal, the Post said, citing sources.

Cablevision has set up a special committee to review the family's offer, but has yet to publicly approve or reject it.

A deal for Rainbow's programming assets could generate more than $2 billion, the Post reported.

A Cablevision spokesman declined to comment. Liberty officials were not immediately available for comment.

Malone last month agreed to swap an $11 billion stake in News Corp. for control of satellite TV provider DirecTV Group Inc. and other assets.