The USA Network, present in 90 million homes, is the largest of Vivendi’s three cable channels and is itself valued at about $4.5 billion. But Vivendi’s auction of the cable company comes amid a decline in viewership and shrinking growth.
Three years ago, USA Network boasted a primetime audience of 2.3 million, but according to Nielson Media Research, last months figures showed audiences fell to 1.8 million, the WSJ reported.
Vivendi has told bidders including NBC’s parent General Electric., that it would like $14 billion. Most bidders think the assets are worth about $11 billion. If it doesn’t get its asking price, Vivendi may instead take sell its entertainment unit in an initial public offering.