Wanted: Entertainment empire seeks new suitor. Must appreciate the grace of Seabiscuit along with the rage of The Hulk. Wide musical tastes -- from Eminem to Andrea Bocelli -- are a plus, but not necessary to close the deal. Former social drinker, now reformed and looking for peaceful strolls in theme parks or settling in for a night of video games and DVD viewing. No reasonable offer refused. Well, except for the low-ball $11.5 billion dowry offer that MGM (NYSE:MGM) was suggesting.

With that, Vivendi (NYSE:V) shot down MGM's advances. As far as gentlemen callers go, MGM was curt and patient but didn't have the resolve to bid higher for Vivendi's Universal hope chest. While MGM was hoping that Vivendi would be more forthcoming with the studio's finances, Vivendi held firm to its "no private disclosures until marriage" credo.

But that opens the door for more public bidders as rival studios and entertainment conglomerates look to take advantage of a distressed seller in debt-laden Vivendi.

Who wants a piece of Vivendi? Who doesn't? Viacom (NYSE:VIA) has been an avid collector of entertainment properties. From Paramount to CBS, Universal would fit in nicely with Viacom's diversified portfolio. But General Electric (NYSE:GE) probably has the most to gain. Its NBC Network has seen rivals CBS and ABC take to the wings of media giants Viacom and Disney (NYSE:DIS), respectively. Meanwhile, NBC's parent company is working in financial services, light bulbs and airplane engines. Picking up Universal's rich pool of leisure magnets would help solidify its position in the industry.

Others like cable staple Liberty Media (NYSE:L) and ex-owner of Universal Edgar Bronfman are supposedly in the running. Vivendi would like to land a suitor in the coming weeks but by publicly rebuffing MGM's offer it may dissuade others who fear that Vivendi might be asking too much.

There's something else too. The bidders have time on their side while every day that passes for Vivendi is another chunk of change due on the company's debt. While there are too many interested parties for Vivendi's entertainment properties to wind up as old maids, it may mean that Vivendi will have to sell its Universal empire piecemeal rather than in one lump sum.

That would open up the bidding process to new potential bidders like Disney and AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) who would otherwise be too consumed with internal problems and financial hurdles to make a play for Universal. Worse for Vivendi, it would mean having to write up even more Want Ads.