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August 27, 1997 2:00 AM
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IFC For Sale As Part Of Package Deal?

IFC For Sale As Part Of Package Deal?

by Mary Sampson



The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is not going to Miramax. At least not directly. Rumors circulating that the independent film cable channel
will be brought by Miramax and renamed the Miramax Channel were flatly
denied by IFC parent companyRainbow Media's VP of Communications Chris Levesque. In an interview with indieWIRE, Ms. Levesque called the story in a Hollywood trade paper, "clearly in the category of rumor and speculation."


But could IFC be part of a larger deal brewing at Cablevision?
Cablevision, which owns Rainbow Media, which owns (among others) the
Independent Film Channel, is said by cable industry experts to be
looking to spin Rainbow -- and therefore IFC -- off from its other
holdings. Levesque was not as adamant in denying the point.
Although she stated that Cablevision has no plans at the moment for
dumping Rainbow, she also added, "A spin-off of Rainbow is one of the
options available to us, as are many others. We continue to explore all
our options."


When asked if the buyer of such a spin-off might be the Walt Disney
Corporation
(owner of Miramax), Levesque refused comment. If that
happens, Disney could easily hand the IFC over to Miramax, allowing the
company to control programming for the only independent film
channel slated to appear in the cable line up of New York's
biggest cable provider, Time Warner.

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