Boosted by the recent ratings success of History series Hatfields & McCoys (pictured), U.S. giant Comcast is selling its 15% stake in A&E Television Networks for US$2.8 billion, according to the New York Post.
The figure represents a 40% increase on the $2.019 billion Comcast said the stake was worth in a regulatory filing on May 2 this year, and – according to the Post – the rise is attributable to the massive audience brought in by the scripted series.
The stake is being split by Disney and Hearst, which will now each now own 42.5% of the A&E group of channels, which comprises A&E, Lifetime and History.
While a price has been agreed to, other details are still being hammered out, the paper claims. None of the parties involved is commenting on the Post‘s story.
Hatfields & McCoys set basic cable viewing records across three nights earlier this summer, with the mini-series registering the highest-rating entertainment telecasts yet for ad-supported basic cable, according to figures supplied by History and Nielsen Co.
The May finale brought in 14.3 million viewers, while parts one and two registered 13.9 million and 13.1 million viewers respectively.