Byron Allen, founder and chief executive of Allen Media Group, has made a $10 billion bid for the ABC Network and other TV channels from The Walt Disney Co.’s linear broadcast segment.
Bloomberg first reported Allen’s bid for the network and channels owned by the Burbank entertainment and media giant on Sept. 14.
The bid follows media reports that Nextstar was interested in buying the eight ABC regional stations owned by Disney, including ABC7 Los Angeles.
In a statement, however, Disney said that any reports of a sale of ABC were “unfounded.”
“While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time the Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property and any report to that effect is unfounded,” the company said.
In a broadcast from Sept. 15, Yahoo Finance reporter Alexandra Canal said that both bids showed how serious Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger was in selling the linear networks.
“He’s said before that linear may no longer be core to Disney’s business moving forward,” Canal said.
Canal was referencing comments Iger made in a CNBC interview in late July.
“Yeah, there’s clearly creativity and content that they create that is core to Disney, but the distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business, and that has delivered great profits over the years, is definitely broken,” Iger said. “And we have to call it like it is, and that’s part of the transformative work we’re doing.”
Allen, who grew up in Burbank, is reportedly putting the $10 billion towards ABC as well as the FX and National Geographic cable channels. A comedian and television personality, Allen founded his Century City-based company in 1993 as Entertainment Studios and later changed the name to Allen Media Group as it grew and expanded its services to include creating content and owning television stations and film distribution.