Published: Wed, November 21, 2018

Amazon bids for Disney's 22 regional sports networks

Amazon bids for Disney's 22 regional sports networks

E-commerce giant Amazon has submitted bids to buy all 22 of the regional sports networks Disney acquired as part of its recent deal with Twenty-First Century Fox, according to a report Tuesday.

For Disney, the clock is ticking on finding a buyer for the RSNs, which the company has to sell as part of conditions placed on its Fox acquisition by the Justice Department.

Now it is being reported that Amazon, Sinclair, and TENGA, to name a few are all bidding on the FOX RSNs including YES Network according to sources that talked with CNBC.

The New York Yankees have the right to make their own buyback offer for the YES Network, which many analysts expect them to exercise, raising the possibility that the networks could be sold off piecemeal.

CNBC added that due diligence on the first round bids begins next week, before a second round is expected by year-end.


CNBC said it was unable to learn the amount of the bids.

Amazon is bidding for all the networks, including the YES Network; Blackstone, an unknown sovereign wealth fund, along with the Yankees, are also bidding for the NY network. The company that buys FOX's RSNs will have great power over the future of streaming sports going forward.

Amazon already streams Thursday night National Football League games in the US, the US Open tennis tournament in the United Kingdom, and some English Premier League matches in the United Kingdom; buying the RSNs would greatly expand Amazon's sports programming. The DOJ required the divestiture to preserve competition between Fox's and Disney's cable sports programming; Disney owns ESPN.

The value of the RSN portfolio has been estimated at $20 billion, but no dollar figures have been reported in connection with the bids.

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