AEG Live deal 'on life support'


NASHVILLE -- Talk is premature that the deal between Ticketmaster, Cablevision/Madison Square Garden Entertainment and AEG Live is dead. But parts of the pact could be described as "on life support," according to sources.

The deal, which would combine the considerable assets of the world's largest ticketing company, the massive footprint of Cablevision (including the top-grossing arena in the world in MSG), and the second-largest promoter in the world in AEG, was believed to be near completion as recently as last week.

Sources say the deal initially was set as Ticketmaster and its largest stakeholder IAC, and Cablevision separately buying in for a combined 49% (15% for the former, 34% for the latter) of AEG Live, which is a division of Anshutz Entertainment Group.

But the complicated negotiations, with many interests at stake, have apparently been stalled.

According to sources, the Barry Diller/Ticketmaster/IAC component of the deal is still very much in play and will likely come to fruition. The Cablevision part of the deal is now stalled.

The potential deal has a wealth of moving parts, including AEG's many venues and tours, Ticketmaster's association with IAC, its digital presence, and de facto alliance with Irving Azoff's Front Line Management; and Cablevision/MSGE's Garden, WaMu Theatre, Beacon, and Chicago Theatre venue properties, successful live productions, and the key Fuse TV factor.

While the deals were synergistically intertwined, as negotiations have been, the separate IAC/Ticketmaster and Cablevision/MSGE components are freestanding. Both Ticketmaster and AEG Live see a lot of value in forging a deal, even without the juice provided by Cablevision and its venue and media holdings.