Cabler dwarfed by competish

MIAMI — Disney/ABC, Falcon Cable, Hearst Corp. and Chase Manhattan are all looking to quit struggling paybox TVA.

The U.S. companies have a combined 38% stake in TVA, which is majority-owned by publishing giant Abril. With 550,000 subscribers, TVA is dwarfed by media giant Globo, whose cable subsids control around 2 million subs.

An industry insider says two banks, including Citicorp, are performing due diligence at TVA on behalf of potential buyers of the U.S. portion; Citicorp may be representing voracious Argentine media investor CEI, of which the bank is a backer.

Calls to Falcon, Hearst and TVA were not returned.

The decision to ankle comes at a time of almost flat cable growth in Brazil — only satcaster biz has climbed this year — and follows several years of tensions between partners.

Ten days ago, CEO Raul Rosenthal was replaced by Jose Augusto Pinto Moreira, who becomes TVA’s fourth topper in two years.

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