Mets may sell part of TV network

BY foxsports • February 3, 2011

The New York Mets would consider selling a portion of its share in the regional sports cable network SNY if it cannot otherwise sell a minority stake in the team, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing a source.

Team executives announced on a conference call Friday that they would consider selling up to 25 percent of the club to a minority partner. They also said that a stake in SNY would not be part of the deal.

A person familiar with the matter said the team is confident it can sell a minority share of the club without including a piece of SNY but would consider including a piece of SNY in the deal "if and when it became a necessity."

A Mets spokesman declined to comment.

The Mets own 65 percent of SNY. The network's minority investors include cable giants Comcast and Time Warner.

The network is Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon's most lucrative sports asset. It generates more than $150 million per year in subscriber fees alone.

Not including it in a sale of a minority stake in the franchise was seen by sports industry insiders as a hurdle to any potential deal. Even with the revenue from their new stadium, Citi Field, the Mets do not turn a profit on the operations of the team alone.

The Mets owners decided to put part of the team up for sale after Irving Picard, the trustee representing the victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, filed a lawsuit against them in December.

The two sides have yet to reach a settlement.

Read more here.

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