Disney has attracted three second-round bids for the regional sports networks it needs to unload as part of its $71.3bn (€62.2bn) takeover of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets.
According to Bloomberg, Sinclair Broadcast Group, private equity firm Apollo Global Management and Major League Baseball made offers, worth around $10bn, for 21 of the 22 RSNs by Thursday’s (January 31) deadline.
The New York Yankees, meanwhile, are exercising their right of first refusal to buy the 80 per cent of the YES network they don’t own. YES is considered the crown jewel of the RSNs and is being sold under a separate negotiation. It is estimated to be worth more than $4bn.
The decision by the Yankees to buy back YES – which carries Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games – is believed to have led to numerous suitors pulling out of the race to acquire the remaining RSNs as well as reducing their value. The 22 RSNs combined were believed to be worth $20-22bn.
MLB has teamed up with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board while, according to the New York Post, Sinclair and Apollo are partnering together rather than launching separate bids.
A sale must be completed within 90 days of the Disney-Fox deal’s closing, which is expected in the first half of 2019.