|DISNEY CEO BOB IGER|
Can you imagine Disney without ESPN? Well you would only be able to see or not see that picture if you knew Disney owned ESPN. The average ESPN watcher probably has no idea or even cares who owns ESPN. The sports media giant, once a shining star in Disney’s vast stable of media properties, has become a drag on the company’s performance results including its stock. Its like ESPN is becoming what Time Inc was to Time Warner for Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes ditched it. When some first made the suggestion that maybe Disney boss Bob Iger should consider selling or spinning off the division (we don’t see the latter happening), many just couldn’t see it. But as Disney continues to suffer because of ESPN thanks mostly to the exodus of subscribers, Disney without ESPN isn’t sounding too far fetched after all especially being that shareholders are getting antsy.
Last month, billionaire John Malone — the dealmaker of all media dealmakers — speculated that Disney may spin off or sell ESPN, along with maybe ABC. He then went so far as to say Apple Inc. may be interested in merging with Disney after the split. The Edge, which analyzes spinoffs, has written about a Disney breakup, too, noting that the media networks and the rest of Disney “lack sufficient synergies and have vastly different outlooks and business model challenges.”
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