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Madison Square Garden Enlists JPMorgan to Help Sell Fuse

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Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Madison Square Garden Co., the sports and entertainment company that owns the namesake arena in Manhattan, hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to explore a sale of its music-TV channel Fuse.

“We have been approached by certain parties expressing interest in Fuse and have retained JPMorgan to explore all strategic alternatives,” the New York-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.

Selling Fuse would let the company’s TV business focus on its more lucrative sports networks, which broadcast New York Knicks and Rangers games. Fuse could be worth $300 million to $400 million in a sale, said Amy Yong, an analyst at Macquarie Group, who has the equivalent of a buy rating on MSG shares.

The music channel, which reaches about 64 million households, competes with networks such as Viacom Inc.’s MTV and VH1 and Mark Cuban’s AXS TV. Fuse charges pay-TV providers about 6 cents per month per customer, according to research firm SNL Kagan. That’s far less than what popular sports networks fetch.

Shares of Madison Square Garden, which also owns real estate and sports teams, rose 1.6 percent to $55.99 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 26 percent this year.

The New York Post reported earlier on the potential sale of Fuse.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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