Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen has reportedly made a bold move by offering $10 billion to acquire ABC TV network, FX and National Geographic cable channels, as well as local stations from Disney. This major offer, said to be a preliminary one, has caught the attention of the industry, as Allen plans to collaborate with banks and private equity firms for financing.
While Disney has not made any public statement regarding Allen’s offer, the company has expressed openness to exploring strategic options for its linear businesses. Rumors have been circulating that Disney is in talks with Nexstar Media Group regarding the potential sale of these properties.
To avoid any tensions with competing networks such as CBS and NBC, Allen is considering selling off the non-ABC affiliated local TV stations that he already owns. This strategic move demonstrates Allen’s readiness to negotiate and navigate the complex media landscape.
The CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, has been implementing cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and restructuring, due to the market disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic. As a result, Disney has been contemplating selling some of its linear TV assets, which Allen has seized as an opportunity for expansion.
It is worth noting that Allen has previously invested $1.3 billion in expanding his media portfolio, which included the acquisition of the Weather Channel and local stations. However, some of Allen’s previous attempts to purchase media properties have been unsuccessful, leading to significant debt for Allen Media.
As the industry awaits further developments and official statements from Disney, the potential acquisition of ABC TV network, FX, National Geographic, and local stations by Byron Allen has certainly sparked intrigue and speculation. Allen’s ambitious offer is a testament to his determination to solidify his position in the media industry and further expand his media empire.
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