Some details have emerged regarding the first round of bids for the 22 regional sports networks Disney is being forced to divest after agreeing to a $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets. As expected, the YES Network is generating the most interest.
As we previously posted on this site, the Yankees have the right to purchase controlling interest in the network back at fair market value. That value though is growing.
The most surprising entrant into the picture is Amazon. The Jeff Bezos run company has entered the race and appears ready to compete for the 22 RSN’s against Apollo Global Management, The Blackstone Group, and Sinclair Broadcasting. Amazon has dipped its toe in the water with sports before, obtaining the streaming rights to NFL games, but taking control of 22 television networks would be a whole different ballgame. It would immediately put Amazon on the map as a major force in the sports television space.
Fox and Comcast were expected to be in on the bidding as well, but did not submit anything in the first round. Due diligence on the original bids will begin next week. The second round of bids is expected to begin by the end of the year. Particulars of the bids have not been released.