Disney wants a sports partner for ESPN

Disney He is looking for a partner for ESPN and the four major sports leagues in the United States seem to be the main candidates, however, they are not convinced to participate in the pay channel.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) both asked if the mouse company was looking for a partner Reducing or replacing broadcast rights paymentsAccording to people familiar with the matter.

The idea of ​​major leagues in America may not be so far from reality, California-based Burbank is seeking. Save cash A stock-for-transfer swap would help him save billions of dollars.

In addition, The media giant’s streaming division is still losing moneywith a loss of $512 million in its most recent quarter, and the company would like to pay off its $44.5 billion in debt.

For its part, Disney makes it clear that the partnership is just an idea, but it could become more meaningful as period NBA broadcast rights renegotiated. The exclusivity of the NBA and the major media conglomerate ends in April 2024.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the company’s earnings conference call:Don’t necessarily look for an infusion of cashWhether the partners can provide other assets, such as content, as the company transitions from ESPN to a direct-to-consumer business remains to be seen.

We are looking for partners to help ESPN make a successful transition to a direct-to-consumer model.

Director indicated.

The main difficulty for a deal of this kind to come to fruition is that Leagues also require cash. Income from broadcast rights is the main source of payment for players.

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Learn more: Disney+ lost 6 million subscribers last year; Conflicts with shared accounts

Potential ESPN show

In an interview with CNBCAnd Iger confirmed that Disney is seeking to retain a stake in ESPNHowever, this can happen even if a split has been made. The option that is “on the table,” according to sources familiar with the matter.

Conducting a spin-off can help potential partners to Clearly see the value of your retail share.

next quarter, Disney will begin reporting ESPN’s financials separately from the rest of the company, which is another possible precursor to separation.

through decades, The sports channel was the crown jewel of the entertainment companygenerating billions of dollars in lucrative pay-TV subscription fees.

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With information from CNBC

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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