OAN’s James Meyers
11:37 AM – Friday, September 15, 2023
Media Entrepreneur Byron Allen has made a $10 billion bid to buy ABC television network from Disney, including FX and National Geographic cable channels, a spokesperson for Allen said on Friday.
According to Bloomberg, Disney is also in talks with Nexstar Media Group, the country’s biggest TV station owner, to sell the ABC network.
“While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time The Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property and any report to that effect is unfounded,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement responding to the report.
The talks of selling ABC comes after Disney CEO Bob Iger said in July that the company could sell some of its traditional TV assets, which have struggled as a result of the increased use of streaming services.
According to CNN, the news shocked employees within the company and led to “high anxiety.”
“None of this is surprising, given Disney is looking to unload non-core assets, and when a stock is under pressure as Disney has been, it needs to unload core assets and conserve capital, and this deal would be consistent with that,” media M&A advisor Peter Csathy said of the reported talks.
So far this year, Disney’s linear networks recorded an operating income of $5 billion, which is down 27% from the same period in 2022.
In their latest third quarter report, Disney cited ABC’s struggles, referencing their declining advertising revenue and average viewership.
However, Disney’s streaming income has continued to increase. Subscription revenue was up both at Hulu and Disney+ in their third quarter report as well.
ABC is a national TV network and has eight regional stations. It also has affiliation agreements with almost 240 local television stations reaching almost all United States television households.
In 1995, Disney’s then-Chief Executive Michael Eisner agreed to buy Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion.
Nexstar currently has 200 owned or partner stations in over 100 markets, which reaches over two-thirds of the U.S. population. It has a market value of $5.25 billion.
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