Media Tycoon Makes Multi-Billion-Dollar Offer for Walt Disney Company Purchase

man in tuxedo stands in front of purple circle with disney logo and 100 dollar bills
Credit: Allen Media Group/Disney/Canva

Disney has received a multi-billion-dollar offer from a media tycoon with a long history of successful acquisitions, and it’s not the tycoon’s first successful business venture with The Walt Disney Company.

Media tycoon Byron Allen, owner of Allen Media Group and Entertainment Studios and a leader in the media industry with a lucrative portfolio of assets and acquisitions, has made a bid to purchase a sector of The Walt Disney Company’s assets.

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red abc television logo with man in tuxedo in front

Credit: Disney/ABC/Allen Media Group/Canva

The “Disney Yard Sale”

When Bob Iger returned to the helm at Disney in November 2022, replacing then-CEO Bob Chapek, he did so with a huge mission: to right the financial ship at the company.

Though Disney’s Parks, Experiences, and Products division, which includes Disney’s theme park resorts, has seen continued growth, the pressure is on as Disney’s streaming service–once forecast to be one of the company’s most lucrative and successful ventures–is tanking. Since the streamer first went live on November 12, 2019, Disney+ has yet to turn a profit, having lost more than $11 billion since its debut. In its most recent quarterly earnings report, The Walt Disney Company showed a loss of $512 million.

In July, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the company is willing to sell some of its linear television assets in response to consumers’ growing trend of embracing streaming networks over the more traditional television and cable networks, and, in what Bloomberg described–fittingly–as a ā€œDisney yard sale,ā€ Iger reportedly listed approximately one-third of The Walt Disney Company’s intellectual properties, including some of Disney’s linear television assets, deemedĀ noncore, or not essential for Disney’s growth, by the veteran CEO, such asĀ ABC, FX, and Freeform.

disney's freeform channel logo in white letters on television screen

Credit: Disney/Freeform/Canva

Multi-Billions From a Media MogulĀ 

As confirmed by his representative on CBS MoneyWatch, Byron Allen has offered to purchase Disney’s ABC television network, as well as the Disney-owned cable networks FX and National Geographic, for $10 billion. According to Bloomberg, the bid is only a “preliminary” offer and is subject to change at any time.

Byron Allen Bids $10B For ABC, Other Disney Nets 09/15/2023

Credit: Disney/Allen Media Group

In 1993, Allen, a comedian, producer, media mogul, and philanthropist, founded the Los Angeles, California-based Entertainment Studios, a division of the Allen Media Group, a global media company. Allen’s enterprise has grown over the years, expanding to encompass offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Raleigh. Entertainment Studios currently owns one of the largest cable network portfolios industry-wide, as Allen has built a highly lucrative empire by adding to his portfolio with a series of acquisitions.

Allen’s company is the owner of ten of the country’s 24-hour HD television networks, including The Weather Channel, Justice Central, Comedy TV, Pets TV, and more. The group also sells advertising for 43 different broadcast and cable television programs and, per the company’s website, has “one of the largest libraries of family and advertiser-friendly lifestyle content in the world.”

In August 2019, Allen partnered personally with the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns and operates–or provides services for–nearly 200 television stations across 86 markets, to strike a deal with Disney. The $10.6 billion deal resulted in Allen’s acquisition of 21 regional sports networks from the Walt Disney/FOX group.

disney mouse ears 21st century fox

Credit: Disney/FOX

Disney’s Response to Talk About an Asset Liquidation Sale

As of the time of this publication, Disney has not released a statement regarding the deal proposed by Byron Allen and Allen Media Group. But the company did respond to news that a definitive deal is in the works between Disney and Nexstar Media Group regarding linear television assets owned by the House of Mouse, with a statement that reads in part:

ā€œWhile 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.ā€

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!