Media mogul Byron Allen has submitted an offer of $10 billion to acquire the ABC television network, along with popular cable networks FX and National Geographic, from the Walt Disney Co., according to sources familiar with the matter. This bid would include ABC’s national TV network and various regional stations in its portfolio.
While the offer is currently considered preliminary and subject to change, it highlights Allen’s eagerness to expand his media empire. The $10 billion valuation is based on an estimation of the networks’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization over the past year.
Disney CEO Bob Iger had hinted in July that the company is open to selling some of its television assets, indicating a potential shift in strategy. As a result, Disney has been engaging in discussions with potential buyers, including local broadcaster Nexstar.
The entertainment giant is facing financial pressures, particularly in its streaming business, which has been steadily losing money. In an effort to alleviate these challenges, Disney has been exploring various options to reposition its assets and streamline its operations.
Byron Allen, the founder and CEO of Allen Media Group, has a successful track record in the media business. Allen’s company already owns the highly regarded Weather Channel, along with several regional sports networks and broadcast TV stations. His foray into the media industry came in the early 1990s after a thriving career as a stand-up comedian and television host.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Allen has expressed interest in acquiring a prominent sports franchise. In 2022, he made a bid to purchase the Denver Broncos, although he was ultimately outbid by other parties.
If successful, the acquisition of ABC, FX, and National Geographic would mark a pivotal moment for Allen and his media conglomerate. The addition of these renowned networks would significantly bolster his company’s presence in the media landscape and potentially open up new avenues for growth and expansion.
As negotiations continue, the media industry eagerly awaits further developments and potential shifts in ownership that could shape the future of broadcasting and entertainment.