Video services

Cablevision Spinning Options

11:40 AM -- In addition to showing the world that it's perfectly capable of kicking some telco tail, the other big news from Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s second-quarter earnings call last week was that the company would seek out ways to prop up shareholder value. (See Cablevision Begins Wideband Assault.)

That started a string of suggestions and speculation about what Cablevision might do. But most were in agreement about what Cablevision would not try to do: take the company private. It has already failed on that account multiple times, with the latest attempt falling flat last October. (See Cablevision Shareholders Reject Dolan Bid.)

Cablevision did not express any details about its latest plan last week, but today the MSO announced that its board has OK'd the company to "explore several strategies" in the hopes of bringing the value of its stock more in line with its operating performance. (See Cablevision Explores Options.)

Regular quarterly dividends and stock buybacks are among the options it will seek to execute "as promptly as practical." Also on the table for consideration: spinoffs of one or more of its businesses.

In addition to its core cable business, Cablevision operates a successful business services arm called Optimum Lightpath . It also owns a swath of programming services and networks under the Rainbow Media Holdings LLC umbrella. Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty, and Clearview Cinemas are also among Cablevision's holdings. And it just completed a deal to buy Newsday. (See Cablevision Closes Deal.)

Cablevision has not indicated yet which of those properties could be targeted for a good spinning-off, but just the announcement today gave the stock a boost. Shares were up $1.57 (6.05%) to $27.50 in morning trading Tuesday.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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