In a freewheeling interview during lunch Tues at Bear, Stearns (we eavesdropped by Web), Disney pres/COO Bob Iger said he expects another offer from Comcast. "I think Comcast comes back; I think there’s an inevitability to another offer being made that’s higher…that’s just my opinion." Brian Roberts’ comments Mon at the confab seemed to imply Comcast was willing to back away. Not so, Comcast co-CFO John Alchin said Tues. When will there be a resolution? It’s "fair to assume this can’t wait forever" but it also would be "fair to give this a little more time to play out," Alchin said. — Bear Essentials: The dog-and-ponys were wide-ranging. A taste: Iger on Viacom/Dish: "It’s a mistake for a platform to deprive its customers of content. Time Warner learned that the hard way in 2000 (when it pulled ABC). The pressure on them was so great they folded in a day. It’s still early but I think Dish is going to see a similar reaction." On Comcast’s bid: "The notion that Brian needs to buy a motion picture studio just to jumpstart VOD is preposterous to me." Fox Entertainment Group pres/COO Peter Chernin on staying with News Corp: "I wouldn’t be in negotiations if it wasn’t my desire to stay with the company." On Comcast partnering with pro franchises in Chicago for a rival RSN: "It happens to be a market in which we made no money … and we were in no position to make money." On other teams/MSOs trying to follow suit: "I don’t think they realize how difficult it is. … On almost every deal, we have a last refusal. You can bid against us but ultimately we’ll outbid you and we’ll just turn around and put the prices to you." On ESPN’s contract with DirecTV expiring this fall: "They’re in the very early stages of [contract] negotiations." On competing with ESPN: "It would take deep pockets and a long-term look, similar to Fox News … but they would be very formidable." — Cablevision [CVC] execs seemed to bob and weave when asked about the business dynamic that awaits the eventual split into 2 discreet units. (In other words, with Jim holding down the coax side and father Chuck manning Voom for Rainbow DBS, which Dolan should investors trust with hard-earned cash?) Tom Rutledge played it safe, saying both would "absolutely" compete. "Rainbow is an investment in a growth opportunity, so those investors are going to have to wait for results," he said. "The remaining co is a harvest opportunity. Our goal is to achieve free cash flow this year and never look back." Jim Dolan reiterated Cablevision intends to file documents for the spinoff later this year. — Morgan Stanley downgraded Cablevision yesterday, saying it didn’t see great opportunity for upside. CVC would be worth more if it sold off some assets, it said.

The Daily

Subscribe

Spot Spending Returning, Shifting to OTT

After a rapid decline in spend, agencies and broadcasters are seeing rebounds in many spot spending categories.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up