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Profits Up & Leiweke Rumors At MSG

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — The Madison Square Garden Co. reported a huge boost in their first-quarter net income, driven largely by its sale of the Fuse music television network in July for $162 million.

MSG reported that their net income was up to $108.1 million, in the quarter ending Sept. 30, up from $23.9 million, in the same quarter in Q1 2014. Revenue at the entertainment company was up as well, increasing by 12% to $241.7 million over last year's results.

MSG Entertainment was still in the red for the quarter, though the outlook had improved, with the unit posting revenue of $65.2 million, an increase of 128% over last year, which the company said was primarily due to higher event-related revenues, as well as higher venue-related sponsorship and signage and suite rental fee revenues at The Garden, the Forum and The Theater at Madison Square Garden. However, the division posted an operating income loss of $8.2 million for the quarter, up from a loss of $18.4 million during the same time period in Q1 2014.

The company revealed earlier this week that they were contemplating splitting off its entertainment and real estate components from its sports and media divisions. Bloomberg reported this week that Tim Leiweke, formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of AEG and more recently Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, was in talks with Irving Azoff about forming an unspecified joint venture. Azoff and MSG tied up last year in a joint venture of their own, Azoff-MSG.

“I’ve known Irving a long time,” Leiweke told Bloomberg. “He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met in the entertainment business. There isn’t a venture yet, and I’m not sure there will be.”