Byron Allen makes $10bn bid for Disney’s ABC, FX & Nat Geo


Byron Allen, the media mogul who owns The Weather Channel and an array of regional networks in the US, has made a $10bn offer to buy ABC, FX and National Geographic from Disney.

The deal via his Allen Media Group would include flagship ABC, as well as eight local stations belonging to the Mouse House, plus Fargo network FX and factual-focused Nat Geo.

Bloomberg, which confirmed the offer, reported that the $10bn figure had been based on predicted annual revenue of $1.25bn EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).

Byron Allen

It is not immediately clear how the deal would affect FX and Nat Geo, which both form part of the offering for Disney+ and Hulu.

Background & context

Allen, who was previously mooted as a suitor of Paramount Global’s BET Media division before it was pulled from sale earlier this year, joins The CW owner Nexstar as among those eyeing up the assets.

Disney had earlier cautioned against reports that a deal with the US regional operator was in the works, saying that “no decision” had been made but admitting that “strategic options” were being kept open.

Allen’s form offer, confirmed by Bloomberg and Reuters, comes two months after Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted his company has been exploring the future of its linear TV assets, conceding that they “may not be core” to the business as it shifts to streaming.

Since then, Disney has had to negotiate a new deal with pay TV operator Charter Communications, following a 10-day blackout that highlighted the increasing challenges for cable in the US.

The deal that was eventually struck saw Charter drop eight Disney channels, including FX sibling FXX and Nat Geo Wild.


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