Disney is in talks (quietly) to sell its ABC network to local TV station owner Nexstar Media, as shared by The Post.
Reportedly, The Walt Disney Company isn’t only in talks with Nexstar. A source with knowledge told The Post that the entertainment giant is also talking to other potential buyers and overall, would like to get out of the traditional TV business.
“Everyone is talking to Disney,” the source said, noting it is “way too early” for a deal.
“Every investment bank and private equity firm is keeping in contact with Disney.”
Nexstar and Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The source said Disney is likely not in advanced talk, noting that the company would want to “kick the tires” to get the best price before moving forward with Nexstar.
“I’m sure Nexstar will make a huge push for the assets,” the source said.
Nexstar has 200 owned or partner stations in 116 markets reaching over two-thirds of the US population, as well as national TV networks such as CW and NewsNation. It has a market value of $5.25 billion.
Back in July, Iger revealed the idea of selling ABC in an interview with CNBC in Sun Valley, Idaho. During the talk, Iger spoke about putting roughly a third of the company up for sale, in a move in which he declared Disney’s linear TV assets to be noncore. This included the TV networks ABC, FX, and Freeform. Additionally, Iger said the company is looking for a strategic partner for ESPN–as he’s not willing to sell the whole thing.
According to Wells Fargo analyst Steve Cahill, a sale of Disney’s TV business could rake in roughly $8 billion, which could largely offset the cost of the company’s contractual obligation to buy Comcast Corp’s one-third stake in Hulu.
What are your thoughts of The Walt Disney Company potentially selling off ABC? Let us know in the comments!
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