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Ice Cube and Magic Johnson lose joint bid to acquire sports networks from Disney

April 23, 2019 at 05:00 pm | Money Moves

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

April 23, 2019 at 05:00 pm | Money Moves

Left photo via @icecube on Instagram | Right photo via @magicjohnson on Instagram

Legendary rapper and actor Ice Cube’s joint effort with ex-basketball star and entrepreneur Magic Johnson to purchase 21 California regional sports networks (RSNs) from Walt Disney Co seems to have hit a rough patch after they were reportedly outbid.

Born O’Shea Jackson Sr., the California native, who announced the addition of Johnson to the bidding group on his Twitter page on April 17 wanted to buy the regional sports networks through his 3-on-3 basketball league, Big3, with the intention of airing content from celebrities and athletes including Snoop Dogg and Serena Williams, according to Bloomberg. The bidding group also reportedly had Will Smith on board.

Fox Business, however, reports that Ice Cube’s Big3 and John Malone’s Liberty Media were outbid by Sinclair Broadcast Group who tabled a $10 billion offer. The auction, which began in November is however far from over as Big3 and Liberty Media could counter the offer with higher bids.

The 21 RSNs are being sold by Walt Disney Co after their $71 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s assets in an effort to meet federal regulatory requirements as they already own ESPN, Fox Business further reports.

Ice Cube’s Big3, which comprises of former basketball players competing against each other in a 3-on-3 twelve-team league was founded in 2017 and is growing steadily with viewership. The 3rd season is set to commence in the summer of 2019.

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