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Mogul Offers Disney $10 BILLION For ABC

Byron Allen ABC Purchase offer
Credit: ABC/Byron Allen/Canva

It’s an interesting time at The Walt Disney Company. The once unstoppable media giant is struggling with a multitude of issues — including dual strikes and massive losses from Disney+. Disney CEO Bob Iger is also continuously thinking about what to do with Disney’s linear networks. In layman’s terms, linear networks are networks that have content to be created specifically for cable. Disney’s linear networks include ABC, Freeform, FX, ESPN, National Geographic, and more.

National Geographic's The Magic of Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

With the rise in streaming, linear networks are struggling, as people drop their cable subscriptions. That means that networks that were once bringing in the big bucks and only bringing in a fraction of that. Multiple outlets have reported that Bob Iger is looking to sell Disney’s linear networks. Iger has even admitted that Disney’s cable networks “may not be core” to the company anymore.

While Disney may no longer be interested in ABC, there are several media entities that are. According to a report from Bloomberg, writer, producer, and media mogul Byron Allen has offered Disney a whopping $10 billion for the purchase of ABC. The offer would also include National Geographic and FX.

Len Goodman Dancing With the Stars

Credit: ABC

Per Bloomberg:

Media mogul Byron Allen offered $10 billion, albeit tentatively, for Disney’s flagship broadcast network as well as the FX and National Geographic cable channels, according to a person familiar with his proposal.

Allen’s offer for Disney’s assets is preliminary and could change, the person familiar with the discussions said. The offer is based on the assumption that the properties generated $1.25 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over the past 12 months. If that number is lower or higher, Allen would change his proposed price, which is based on a multiple of eight times Ebitda.

ABC News Nightline

Credit: ABC

Allen is the founder and owner of Allen Media Group — which owns more than two dozen broadcast television stations affiliated with ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. His company also operates multiple 24-hour networks, including The Weather Channel and The Weather Channel en Español. Should Byron acquire ABC, FX, and National Geographic, he may sell the news stations he owns that are not affiliated with the ABC network. That would be done to avoid a conflict of interest.

World News Tonight ABC

Credit: ABC

The unnamed source also states that Allen would be working with banks and private equity firms to secure the money for the purchase.

On Thursday, Disney released a statement saying that, while they are “open” to conversations about the potential purchase of its cable networks, it has made no decisions and has not accepted any purchase offers.

“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.”

The Walt Disney Company

Credit: Disney

There were also reports that Disney was in talks with Nexstar Media Group — which owns The CW and a number of local broadcast stations. Nexstar has not released an official statement, but the company’s senior advisor, Tom Carter, has said that the company would be interested in purchasing ABC’s 10 local news stations if they were up for sale.

In addition to potentially selling ABC, FX, and more, Disney is also looking for a “strategic partner” for ESPN. ESPN is still the top network for sports, so Disney does not want to sell it. But they do want a partner to help them find ways to bring ESPN to viewers in a new way, as well as create new content for the network and its streaming platform.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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