Media mogul Byron Allen has offered $10 billion to the Walt Disney Co. to purchase its ABC television network, in addition to the cable networks FX and National Geographic.
The bid, which Allen’s representative confirmed to CBS MoneyWatch, would include ABC’s national TV network as well as several regional stations. The offer is “preliminary” and “could change” at any time, a source with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
The $10 billion figure is based on an estimation that the networks accrued $1.25 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization within the past year, the publication reported.
Disney CEO Bob Iger signaled in July that Disney was open to selling some of its television assets as consumers continue to flock to streaming networks, eclipsing traditional television and cable. Since then, the company has been in talks with potential buyers including local broadcaster Nexstar, Bloomberg reported.
Disney is facing financial pressures as its fledgling streaming business continues to lose money. The company’s streaming unit has lost more than $11 billion since it debuted Disney+ in 2019, and during the most recent quarter alone it reported $512 million in losses, according to an August earnings report.
Byron Allen is the founder and CEO of Allen Media Group, a global media production and distribution company that owns the Weather Channel, along with several regional sports networks and broadcast TV stations.
Allen entered the media business in the early 1990s after a successful career as a stand-up comedian on programs like The Tonight Show and as host of the late-night talk show The Byron Allen Show, according to a bio on his company’s website. In 1993, he founded CF Entertainment, later renamed Entertainment Studios, a division of AMG, which he built into a media empire worth roughly $1 billion through a series of acquisitions, accordingto the Hollywood Reporter.
In 2022, he tried to buy the Denver Broncos — a move that would have made him the first Black majority owner of an NFL franchise — but was ultimately outbid.