Disney acquired the 22 stations as part of its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Disney is already the majority owner of ESPN and officials believe controlling the 22 sports stations would give the company too much power in the sports TV landscape, TMZ reported.
The Department of Justice announced in June 2018 “that it will require The Walt Disney Company to divest 22 Regional Sports Networks (“RSNs”) as a condition of its $71.3 billion acquisition of certain assets from Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.”
“American consumers have benefitted from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox’s cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the time. “Today’s settlement will ensure that sports programming competition is preserved in the local markets where Disney and Fox compete for cable and satellite distribution.”
The stations involved in the deal include Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Southwest and more.
Ice Cube and LL reportedly teamed with powerful partners to help secure their bid, … “including billionaire Carolyn Rafaelian, founder of Alex and Ani Jewelry, as well as other silent investors, which gave them a huge advantage against other bidders such as private equity groups Sinclair Broadcast, Apollo Global Management, and Blackstone Group,” newpittsburghcourier.com writes.