Several media outlets have reported that Disney CEO Bob Iger is looking to sell the broadcast network ABC and potentially more.
Although inside sources have reportedly confirmed to outlets like Reuters, Bloomberg, and The New York Post that Disney is selling ABC, the company has not outright said so.
In fact, the company behind Mickey Mouse released a statement on Tuesday saying, “While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time The Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property and any report to that effect is unfounded.”
These reports of Disney trying to get lean come as it struggles to turn a profit despite Iger coming back on board as CEO late last year and a massive restructuring with worker reductions a few months later, as previously covered in The Dallas Express.
Disney’s streaming service Disney+ has been underperforming due to a sharp subscriber decline at the same time as its theme parks have seen a lull in attendance numbers, as vacationers are opting for European getaways.
The ongoing writer and actors’ strike in Hollywood, despite a deal being allegedly around the corner, has not helped the company’s bottom line.
Selling off ABC would represent a major change to its broadcast portfolio.
Disney has owned ABC since 1996, when former Disney CEO Michael Eisner bought the company for $19 billion, according to the Dallas Observer.
ABC’s financial future is also bright, with political ad spending expected to climb with the upcoming presidential elections, per the Los Angeles Times.
The network is also home to several franchises, such as The Bachelor, and some major sporting events, such as the NFL Super Bowl.
Likely attracted by the prospective profits, one potential buyer is said to be the largest TV station owner in the country, Nexstar Media Group in Irving.
Nexstar already owns various channels including The CW and NewsNation.
The sale of ABC could potentially benefit local markets, such as Dallas, which is already seeing a revitalization of its TV production scene.
Yet Los Angeles-based media entrepreneur Byron Allen has also allegedly shown interest in buying ABC and submitted a $10 billion offer, according to the Observer.