Byron Allen, founder and CEO of Allen Media Group, has offered Disney $10 billion for ABC, FX and National Geographic. This follows reports that Nexstar Media Group also recently had talks with Disney over acquiring its ABC and local stations.
Allen Media Group is already heavily invested in the television market. The company not only owns The Weather Channel, but also Local Now, as well as a variety of other regional networks and broadcast TV stations.
Bloomberg was the first to report Allen’s offer, citing “a person familiar with his proposal” for the information. Since then, however, CBS News and Reuters report confirmation of the bid from a spokesperson for Allen.
Similar to Nexstar’s reported interest, Allen’s bid would not only be for the national ABC channel, but also “several regional stations” as well. As to whether Disney will accept the bid, that currently remains to be seen.
Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger signaled that the company might be interested in selling some of its television assets, Even more recently, Disney was reported to be preparing to miss its 2024 Disney Plus subscriber goal, and by tens of millions.
With these points in mind, it is not unreasonable to assume Disney would at least hear offers for some of its traditional TV assets, and especially if it is moving more towards a digital and streaming-first strategy. The problem, however, is whether Disney thinks the portfolio of channels now bid on are worth more than the bid.
Disney has only just resolved a carriage dispute with Charter. While the end of that dispute did result in ABC, FX, and Nat Geo, among others returning to Spectrum TV, other channels, including FXM, FXX, Nat Geo Mundo, and Nat Geo Wild, were permanently removed.