US cable operator Cablevision Systems is taking the Viacom route and splitting its businesses.

The family-run, New York-headquartered company is due to announce today (Monday) details of its plan to take its cable systems private and spin off into a new public company its TV programming and sports assets, including the Madison Square Garden arena and the New York Knicks basketball team.

Cablevision, which posted lacklustre first quarter results, is hoping its break-up will "successfully meet the challenges of intensifying telecom and [satellite] competition and new wireless entrants".

The Dolan family will offer $33.50 (€27.36; £18.34) a share - which values the company at around $9.8bn - to take back the company into their control.

The move comes as the business recovers from a much publicised feud between chairman Charles Dolan and his ceo son James over the future of the ill-fated satellite TV service Voom [12-Apr-05].

It has also been at loggerheads with the New York planning authorities over a rival stadium, and threw in a surprise, but failed bid, for Adelphia Communications [20-Apr-05], which was in the final stages of being sold to Time Warner and Comcast.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff