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Published on June 27th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

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Disney wins U.S. approval of Fox purchase; must sell 22 regional Fox Sports channels

The United States Department of Justice granted approval Wednesday for The Walt Disney Company to acquire 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for $71 billion with Disney  – which already owns ESPN – agreeing to sell Fox’s 22 regional sports networks.

The U.S. government asked for the sale of the sports networks to resolve concerns that the deal would raise prices for cable sports programming in local markets.

The approval is a victory for Disney in its battle with Comcast for one of the media industry’s biggest companies. Fox last week accepted a sweetened bid from Disney, which upped its offer following Comcast’s competing $65 billion bid.

But the ‘buyout battle’ is not over. It’s expected Comcast will come back with a counterbid that could include a teaming up with a private equity firm to buy Fox. Fox canceled a shareholder meeting to vote on the Disney deal that had been planned for July 10 to await a counter proposal.

fox_sports_ regional_ network_map

The regional sports networks that Disney has agreed to sell – if it ends up buying Fox – are…

  • Fox Sports Arizona
  • Fox Sports Carolinas
  • Fox Sports Detroit
  • Fox Sports Florida
  • Fox Sports Indiana
  • Fox Sports Kansas City
  • Fox Sports Midwest
  • Fox Sports New Orleans
  • Fox Sports North
  • Fox Sports Ohio
  • SportsTime Ohio
  • Fox Sports Oklahoma
  • Fox Sports San Diego
  • Fox Sports South
  • Fox Sports Southeast
  • Fox Sports Southwest
  • Fox Sports Sun
  • Fox Sports Tennessee
  • Fox Sports West
  • Prime Ticket
  • Fox Sports Wisconsin
  • The YES Network

After the acquisition closes, if Disney wins the bidding stakes, they will have 90 days in which to sell all of the designated sports networks to another buyer, otherwise the court will appoint a trustee to force the sale.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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