Since Disney CEO Bob Iger left the door open to selling some of its TV holdings, including ESPN, in a July 2023 interview with CNBC, the question has been who might be a potential bidder.

According to Reuters, Bank of America estimates that ESPN is worth $24 billion, with Apple and Verizon among the potential purchasers.

A contract with ESPN could be seen by both Verizon and Apple as a strategy to increase subscribers to Apple TV+ or Verizon’s plans.

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Apple and Verizon are not the only buyers who have been reported. According to the Wall Street Journal, the NBA and NFL may be interested in purchasing a stake in ESPN. The agreement would allow their games to be shown on ESPN in exchange for a modest stake in the company. It is unclear how much of ESPN would be owned by the NBA and NFL. These discussions are said to be in their early stages, and anything might happen.

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According to CNBC, Disney’s talks with the NFL may include a share in the NFL Network,, and RedZone. This might benefit both parties by allowing the NFL access to ESPN productions and Disney access to NFL funds. The Wall Street Journal also speculated that the NFL+ service could be included in this agreement with Disney.

According to reports, the NBA is also considering incorporating the NBA League Pass package as part of this contract.

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ESPN is now owned by Disney 80% and Hearst 20%. Disney could simply sell a portion of ESPN to the NFL and NBA while still controlling the rest of the company.

According to reports, Disney is searching for partners to assist with the launch of its direct-to-consumer streaming service for ESPN. All of the reported potential bidders could contribute to Disney’s ability to do so. Spotlight leagues have the content that the network need, and tech giants such as Apple and Verizon can bring in the resources required to make the services a success.

For the time being, we will have to wait and see what occurs. ESPN is definitely searching for partners to help make its own direct-to-consumer streaming service a reality now that it is creating its own.


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