NBCU to sell AETN share for $3 billion


Comcast and NBCUWe had originally heard $2.8 billion, but that figure has moved up to $3.03 billion, the company said in a regulatory filing 7/10: Comcast is selling its NBCU unit’s 15.8% stake in A&E Television Networks. That’s almost 50% more than the value Comcast claimed for the collection of cable nets in a regulatory filing on 5/2. Then, Comcast said AETN, which includes the History Channel, Lifetime and A&E, was worth $2.02 billion. But that was before the History Channel’s “Hatfields & McCoys” drew an average of 14 million viewers during its May 28-30 airing.

AETN owners Disney-ABC and Hearst, which each own a 42.5% stake, are buying Comcast’s stake and splitting it equally. Disney and Hearst will boost their stakes in the cable networks group to 50% each.

Under “certain limited circumstances,” the payment could not only come in cash but also include a senior note issued by A&E, according to the filing, which still needs antitrust thumbs-up.