As we reported earlier, the Sundance Channel was recently put up for sale. Robert Redford and Co — who started the network in 1996 — were eager to a.) cash in on their investment and b.) have a larger entity scoop up and subsequently expose their fantastic array of programming to an even larger audience.
Now it’s been announced that Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings will acquire the network for $496 million. For his part, Redford should expect to earn almost $30 million — not bad for something largely a labor of love. From the release,
“For Rainbow Media, the purchase expands and strengthens its entertainment presence with the addition of a recognizable and desirable brand that attracts loyal viewers. Sundance Channel will join AMC, IFC and WE tv as another valuable and distinct network within Rainbow Media’s portfolio of award-winning national services.
‘Robert Redford is a true visionary and, through everything he has accomplished with Sundance Channel, has made immeasurable contributions to the world of independent film,’ said Rainbow Media President and CEO Joshua Sapan. ‘Rainbow has experienced firsthand how impressive original programming like Mad Men and Breaking Bad can distinguish a network’s brand. Sundance Channel has already established its own distinct voice through impressive programming like The Green and Iconoclasts and our vision is to build on this type of original content, further strengthening the uniqueness of the network.’”
And speaking of The Green — if you’ve not been able to experience it through your current cable offerings — there’s a good chance that the pickup by Cablevision will give you the opportunity.
Thankfully, Redford will stay on as the network gets cozy with its new parent company. “We look forward to working with Rainbow to further distinguish Sundance Channel and to create even greater value for this important service,” he said.