Cablevision Might Sell Country, Stay Rock 'n' Roll

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) is exploring the sale of cable systems serving 360,000 subs in parts of Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah that it acquired from Bresnan Communications Inc. in 2010, reports The Wall Street Journal. Rather than trying to sell those systems in a full-flown auction, the paper says Cablevision is expected to run the idea by a small number of potential suitors, including Charter Communications Inc. Charter, which operates some systems in more rural parts of the country, is run by Tom Rutledge, who was Cablevision's COO when it purchased Bresnan. (See Cablevision Goes Country With Bresnan Buy and Ex-Cablevision COO Becomes Charter CEO.)

    "It is Cablevision's long-standing policy not to comment on rumors or speculation in the media," a spokeswoman said, in a statement. But, if true, it could mean that the deal ended up being a less-than-optimal operational and cultural fit for New York-based Cablevision. After all, Cablevision CEO James Dolan has a rock band -- JD And The Straight Shot -- and Bresnan's systems are out in the Midwest. Perhaps they didn't go together quite as smoothly as Donny & Marie.

  • Providence Equity Partners has sold its stake in Hulu LLC for $200 million, representing a 100 percent return on its original investment in the Web TV hub, reports TechCrunch, noting that it could trigger the eventual exit of Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. Hulu has sought and backed away from an IPO, and tried to find a buyer in recent years. (See Hulu: No Sale .)

  • ActiveVideo President and CEO Jeff Miller downplayed speculation by The Diffusion Group (TDG) 's Colin Dixon that Miller's company and troubled cloud-based gaming service OnLive Inc. will soon merge. "ActiveVideo Networks is 100 percent focused on our current business opportunities to move the user experience of television, including navigation and apps, to the cloud. Other than a mutual belief in the power of the cloud, we have no existing or anticipated relationship with OnLive," Miller said, in a statement. The rumor is coming into play because ActiveVideo and OnLive now enjoy common ownership by V.C. guy Gary Lauder, who recently led the buyout of OnLive's assets and became chairman. (See OnLive Shuffles Its Ranks.)

  • Lauder, meanwhile, did not rule out OnLive and ActiveVideo at least doing some business together, posting on the TDG site that "small companies are usually better off achieving synergies via contractual relations rather than through merging." Oh, and he apparently let the cat out of the bag (or at least some fur) regarding some M&A action going on at ActiveVideo. "In fact, in order to maintain focus, ActiveVideo recently spun out some of its business to a new venture," Lauder added. ActiveVideo isn't commenting about that.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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