Media mogul Byron Allen has reiterated his offer to pay Disney $10 billion for ABC, as well as other cable holdings such as National Geographic and FX, in order to expand his TV empire. Allen, the founder of Allen Media Group, has been pursuing Disney CEO Bob Iger for years regarding his interest in the cable assets. Allen believes that his company is the best option for Disney because regulators would not block the deal as they might with other potential buyers, such as Big Tech firms. He also believes that private equity and hedge funds would be unappealing buyers due to their poor handling of news organizations in the past.
Allen’s acquisition spree in recent years, which includes the purchase of the Weather Channel and local television stations, has been primarily financed by debt. When asked about how he would fund the $10 billion needed for the Disney deal, Allen expressed confidence that the capital is not the problem and that the real commodity is certainty of close and approval of the deal. He argues that other big media companies would be barred from making the deal due to media ownership laws, which restrict a company from controlling more than 39% of the market nationwide. Allen sees himself as the last man standing and aims to build the world’s biggest media company.
Allen’s biggest move so far was acquiring the Weather Channel in 2018 and pivoting its content strategy to focus on climate change. He aims to educate the American people on the impact of climate change and how to protect and save lives. Allen’s ultimate goal is to acquire BET, a network he believes should return to being Black-owned for social reasons. He previously offered $3.6 billion for the network, but his bid was rejected by BET’s parent company, Paramount.