Cox Communications has made it no secret that it's open to selling a majority stake in Travel Channel Media and my sources tell me bids for the cable channel are due tomorrow. Cox, the third largest cable company, says that no decision has been made on whether or not it will sell the channel or make any kind of deal.
But my sources tell me that media giants from CNBC's parent company NBC Universal (GE), to Barry Diller's Interactive Corp, to Time Warner and Scripps Networks Interactive, are all considering the acquisition.
There's no question that cable is hot, arguably the strongest part of the media space right now, providing a steady revenue stream from subscription/affiliate fees, plus ad revenue, which has held up far better than ads on broadcast networks.
Travel Channel has 93 million subscribers, and is valued somewhere between $600 million at the very low end and $1 billion at the high end, depending on just how much each subscriber is considered to be worth. Cox says it engaged Goldman Sachs to evaluate its options after it received some unsolicited inquiries into Travel Channel Media earlier this summer.