Ice Cube’s BIG3, along with other notable investors, have been in the process of acquiring 21 of Fox’s 22 orphaned regional sports networks since March and this week things escalated.
The BIG3 founder filed a complaint with the FCC claiming Charter Communications was actively trying to keep Ice Cube’s group from closing the deal. Officially, he’s accusing Charter of “undermining the sale process.” The cable giant allegedly threatened to drop the networks if they went with Ice Cube’s group.
Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal broke the story, his article details the claim made by BIG3:
Charter’s conduct risks effectively excluding Big3 from the bidding process and tainting the auction. It has been suggested to Big3’s ownership that Charter has disseminated its threat to drop the (RSNs) to other members of the industry, thereby suppressing auction prices, chilling bidding, and ultimately hurting Disney’s ability to secure the best price.Joe Flint, Wall Street Journal
All groups are now waiting a decision from the FCC. The decision won’t ultimately decide who buys the networks but would certainly change the climate of negotiations.