Published on August 14th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson0
Report: Amazon & YouTube interested in buying Fox’s regional sports channels from Disney
Walt Disney needs to sell Fox’s regional sports networks as part of its $71.3 billion deal for the company, and big digital players including Amazon and YouTube have shown interest in possibly buying them. The impact of who will be their future owner can have a major impact on Apple TV users who view these channels through the various live streaming services that broadcast them.
According to Bloomberg on Monday, Amazon and YouTube are among the companies interested in buying the 22 regional Fox sports networks. Other interested parties include Sinclair and buyout firms Blackstone, CVC Capital Partners and Apollo.
The 22 networks hold TV rights to 44 professional basketball, baseball and hockey teams in the U.S., including the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Braves.
It might not be so easy for Amazon and YouTube to buy the networks, according to experts quoted by Bloomberg. It would need to find a way around digital rights for the sports carried on the regional networks and possible conflicts with leagues like the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball who reserve national digital rights for themselves while limiting streaming in specific markets.
Estimates are it could cost around $19 billion to $20 billion in value to sell off the sports networks.
If Amazon were to buy the regional networks, it would be part of their overall push in streaming live sports. In April, Amazon renewed a two-year streaming deal with the National Football League for Thursday Night Football. It also signed a deal earlier this year with the Premier League for international soccer rights.