Viacom Cuts The Cable

AFTER ONE FALSE START AND months of talks, Viacom said July 25 it would spin off its cable systems as well as $1.7 billion in debt. Giant Telecommunications Inc. will gain control of the systems--which have 1.4 million subscribers--by investing $350 million in the unit and taking over the debt. Viacom had tried to sell its systems to entrepreneur Frank Washington and TCI, a deal that was undone when Congress quashed the minority tax break it hinged on. The new deal, combined with Viacom's strong second-quarter profits, cheered investors. And better relations between Viacom and TCI might rekindle merger talks between Viacom's Showtime and TCI's Encore movie channels.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.