Magic Johnson joins Ice Cube in push to acquire sports networks from Disney
Magic Johnson has left the Los Angeles Lakers front office and joined Ice Cube‘s bid to purchase 21 California regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co. reports the Los Angeles Times.
The former Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations has joined the efforts of the “It Was a Good Day” emcee to utilize the Big 3 basketball league to purchase the networks and air programming from celebrities and athletes. Of the names mentioned for content are Serena Williams and Snoop Dogg, while Will Smith is an additional partner for the bidding group.
According to the Los Angeles Times, it currently is not clear if Johnson will lend any financial support to the possible acquisition of the networks from Disney. The sale, by Disney, is to allow clearance for the onboarding of the 21st Century Fox Inc.’s assets. In addition, there were concerns that Disney would control too many pieces of sports television by owning the regional networks and ESPN, resulting in a required 90 days sale window.
Opposing Big3 in the final round of bids is John Malone‘s Liberty Media Corp., with support from Major League Baseball, and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.
The Big3 will be headed into its third season in the summer of 2019 and added former NBA All-Stars Gilbert Arenas and Joe Johnson to an already star-studded field. The league will also switch networks from Fox Sports to CBS.
Before the last game of the Los Angeles Lakers season, Johnson abruptly resigned from his post in their front office. Before his departure, he held an impromptu press conference where he comically revealed that he did not tell team owner and “sister” Jeanie Buss, star player LeBron James or then head coach Luke Walton. While he expressed both remorses he stated he was excited to get back to doing things that make him happy.