Media mogul Byron Allen is standing by his offer to pay Disney $10 billion for ABC and other cable holdings, including National Geographic and FX. Allen, the founder of Allen Media Group, has been pursuing Disney CEO Bob Iger for years about his interest in the cable assets. He made an official offer earlier this month after Iger expressed his consideration of selling Disney’s cable channels. Despite needing to wait for Iger to determine the best way to separate ABC from Disney, Allen remains confident about the deal’s viability and financing.
Allen believes that his company is the best option for Disney, as regulators are unlikely to block the deal as they might with other potential buyers. He argues that big tech firms and private equity and hedge funds would face regulatory scrutiny due to antitrust concerns and their handling of news organizations. Meanwhile, Allen sees himself as a strong candidate who can operate the networks effectively. Other major media companies would also be excluded from the deal due to media ownership laws. Allen’s vision is to build the world’s largest media company, and acquiring a major network like ABC would be a significant step towards achieving that goal.
Allen’s previous acquisitions, including the Weather Channel, have demonstrated his ability to identify undervalued assets and pivot their content strategy. With the Weather Channel, he focused on climate change, a topic that the network had previously avoided. Allen’s long-standing ambition is to buy BET and return it to being Black-owned. Despite his $3.6 billion bid being rejected by BET’s parent company Paramount, Allen remains determined to acquire the network for both economic and social reasons.