Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is shedding its stake in A&E Television Networks for $3.03 billion to its joint-venture partners Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Hearst Corp.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said its NBCUniversal unit plans to sell its minority stake in A&E, whose group of channels includes the History Channel, the Biography Channel and Lifetime. NBCUniversal currently owns a 15.8 percent stake in the company, which A&E agreed to redeem in cash and in the form of a senior note, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

A&E's channels rank fourth in total American prime time viewers, according to the research group Davenport & Co. Viacom (Nasdaq: VIAB), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and NBCUniversal currently occupy the top three spots.

Comcast shares rose 13 cents to $31.40 in afternoon trading.