Cable TV Romeos Unrequited by AT&T Board

24 September 2001

Despite discussing at least five possible deals at a meeting last week, the board of AT&T has yet to decide on the future of its cable television arm, say insiders.

Following Comcast Corporation’s unsolicited and rejected bid for AT&T Broadband – America’s largest cable TV operator with over 14 million subscribers – AT&T has also been wooed by the likes of AOL Time Warner, Cox Communications, Microsoft and the Walt Disney Company about a possible sale. A stock market spin-off is said to be another option under consideration.

However, the board has not instructed AT&T management to focus on any particular proposal; nor has it excluded any of the suitors from the running.

A decision on AT&T Broadband’s future is not expected for weeks. Talks have been slowed by the fallout from the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington – uncertainty in the markets has made it harder for suitors to assess asset values and pursue external purchases. Disney has lost 24% of its share value since the disaster and spent over $700 million purchasing its own stock.

News source: New York Times