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TheStreet Open House

Madison Square Garden Co.'s (MSG) CEO Thomas S. Smith on Q3 2014 Earnings - Call Transcript

The Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG) Q3 2014 Earnings Call Corrected Transcript: 02-May-2014

PARTICIPANTS

Corporate Participants

Ari Danes - Vice President-Investor Relations, The Madison Square Garden Co.

Thomas S. Smith - President & Chief Executive Officer, The Madison Square Garden Co.

Robert M. Pollichino - Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President, The Madison Square Garden Co.

Other Participants

Bryan Goldberg - Analyst, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Ryan Fiftal - Analyst, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

David W. Miller - Analyst, Topeka Capital Markets

Amy Yong - Analyst, Macquarie Capital (USA), Inc.

Vasily D. Karasyov - Analyst, Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc.

David C. Joyce - Analyst, International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Ben Mogil - Analyst, Stifel Nicolaus Canada, Inc.

Michael Morris - Analyst, Guggenheim Securities LLC

MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION SECTION

Operator: Good morning. My name is Hope and I will be your Conference Operator today. At this time I would like to welcome everyone to The Madison Square Garden Company Fiscal Third-Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker's remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session [Operator Instructions]

Thank you. I would now like to turn the call over to Ari Danes, Vice President of Investor Relations for The Madison Square Garden Company. Please go ahead, Sir.

Ari Danes, Vice President-Investor Relations

Thanks, Hope. Good morning and welcome to The Madison Square Garden Company's Fiscal 2014 Third-Quarter Earnings Conference Call. Our President and CEO, Tad Smith will begin this morning's call with a discussion of some of the Company's recent highlights.

This will be followed by a review of our financial results from Bob Pollichino, our EVP and Chief Financial Officer. We will then open up the call for questions. During this time, we will also have available other members of the management team. If you do not have a copy of today's earnings release, it is available on the Investors section of our website at the madisonsquaregardencompany.com.

Please take a note of the following. Today's discussion may contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community perceptions of the Company and its business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which it operates, and the factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections entitled Risk Factors and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contained therein.

The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements that may be discussed during this call. Let me point out that on Page 4 of today's earnings release, we provide consolidated operations data and a reconciliation of adjusted operating cash flow or AOCF to operating income.

I would now like to introduce Tad Smith, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company.

Thomas S. Smith, President & Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Ari. And good morning. I'm delighted to have joined the Company at such an important juncture in its history. MSG is a uniquely positioned Company with a diverse and complimentary set of media, entertainment and sports assets. As you know, we operate extremely attractive businesses in growing markets with great brands and a strong competitive position.

We also believe that our ownership of highly sought after live sports and entertainment content provides us with a strategic advantage, particularly in today's rapidly changing media and entertainment landscape. This fiscal year will bring a successful end to MSG's first chapter as a public company. The completion of a significant multiyear capital investment cycle has provided us with two world-class state-of-the-art arenas in the top two entertainment markets in the country and this will benefit our Company for years to come.

Going forward, our priority is to generate attractive long-term growth for our shareholders. First we remain committed to operational excellence and maximizing the growth and profitability of our current businesses.

This will include exploring incremental growth opportunities within our current asset portfolio, including those we can exploit by better harnessing technology. Second, we will continue to look externally for strategic opportunities, which enable us to add compelling assets and brands that resonate with our customers and partners and allow us to utilize our core competencies and assets to bring unique value.

In March, we completed one such transaction when we announced that we invested $22.5 million for a 50% stake in Tribeca Enterprises, the company that owns and operates the acclaimed Tribeca Film Festival. We also have the opportunity to increase our stake over time and consolidate Tribeca Enterprises in our financial statements.

For MSG, the joint venture augments our portfolio of premier New York City live entertainment brands, while also providing us with a high-profile entry into the festival business with a team that has created one of the most successful festivals in the world.

We will also explore joint sponsorship opportunities, which we believe provide a compelling opportunity to drive incremental growth at both companies. Tribeca now has access to our marketing and promotional expertise and platforms, along with our knowledge of ticketing and booking which we expect will increase both awareness and attendance for the festival along with other Tribeca events.

One early example of the types of opportunities we plan to develop took place last month as the Beacon Theatre served as a backdrop for the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival, which featured the world-premiere of a documentary with the legendary hip-hop artist Nas followed by his live performance. By the way, it was fantastic.

We believe this transaction will benefit our Company and our shareholders and look forward to supporting Tribeca's vision going forward. Separately, after exploring strategic alternatives for Fuse, in April we entered into an agreement to sell the network to CTV Media.

Fuse will operate alongside CTV Media's other network, new NUVOtv, a premier entertainment network developed in collaboration with superstar Jennifer Lopez, who serves as the network's Chief Creative Officer.

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