Media magnate Byron Allen has extended a generous offer of $10 billion to the Walt Disney Company in hopes of acquiring the ABC television network, as well as the other various Disney cable networks, which also include FX and National Geographic.
A representative for Allen confirmed the bid to CBS MoneyWatch, outlining that the proposal encompasses not only ABC’s national TV network but also several regional stations. It’s essential to note that this offer is characterized as “preliminary” and possesses the potential to undergo alterations, as indicated by an insider with insight into the situation, as reported by Bloomberg.
The $10 billion valuation is derived from an estimation that these networks amassed $1.25 billion in earnings before accounting for interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization over the past year, as disclosed by the publication.
Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, signified the company’s openness to selling some of its television assets back in July. This strategic move is driven by shifting consumer preferences towards streaming networks, which have been overtaking traditional television and cable. Consequently, Disney has been engaging in discussions with prospective buyers, including local broadcaster Nexstar, according to Bloomberg’s reporting.
Disney faces financial challenges due to the ongoing losses incurred by its emerging streaming business. Since its debut in 2019, Disney’s streaming unit, Disney+, has incurred more than $11 billion in losses. The most recent quarter alone saw a reported loss of $512 million, as per an August earnings report.
Byron Allen, the mastermind behind this bid, serves as the founder and CEO of Allen Media Group, a globally recognized media production and distribution enterprise. His company boasts ownership of the Weather Channel, along with various regional sports networks and broadcast TV stations.
Allen’s journey into the media industry traces back to the early 1990s, following a thriving career as a stand-up comedian on shows like The Tonight Show and his role as the host of the late-night talk show, The Byron Allen Show, as documented in his company’s biography. In 1993, he established CF Entertainment, later rebranded as Entertainment Studios, a division of AMG, where he meticulously crafted a media empire valued at approximately $1 billion through a series of strategic acquisitions, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Notably, in 2022, Allen made headlines for his attempt to purchase the Denver Broncos, a move that would have positioned him as the first Black majority owner of an NFL franchise. Ultimately, he was outbid in this endeavor.