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Liberty Media Partnering with MLB in Final Bid for FOX RSNs From Disney

Jason Gurwin

After acquiring and closing their deal 21st Century Fox on March 19th, Disney has just 90 days to divest of the Fox-owned Regional Sports Networks (RSN). Last month, Disney sold Fox-owned YES Network back to the New York Yankees in a joint bid with Amazon and Sinclair Media Group valuing the network at $4 billion.

Now, it is believed that Liberty Media (who owns the Atlanta Braves) in a joint bid with Major League Baseball MLB is one of the final bidders for the remaining 21 networks — which is expected to fetch ~$10 billion. The other two companies in contention are Sinclair Media Group and Ice Cube’s Big3 Basketball league.

There have been many questions about the viability of Ice Cube’s bid, who has teamed up with investment bank Macquarie Group and entrepreneur Carolyn Rafaelian, as well as celebrities like Magic Johnson, Will Smith, Serena Williams, and Snoop Dog. Big3 is only expected to put up $500 million, with private equity each putting in $1 billion, and the remaining covered by debt.

Big3 has complained to the DOJ and FCC that in preliminary discussions with Charter, they have threatened to drop the channels. One of Charter’s largest shareholders is fellow bidder Liberty Media, which Big3 claims is manipulating the sales process.