The Walt Disney Company has issued a statement following reports that they are exploring options to sell off ABC to Nexstar Media Group. A report from Reuters earlier today cited sources familiar with the matter, saying that Disney “has held exploratory discussions about selling its U.S. TV network ABC to regional TV station operator Nexstar Media Group Inc”. The report said that Nexstar’s interest is preliminary and that the exploration may not lead to a deal.
Disney shares increased modestly on the news.
Disney said that the reports today were “unfounded”, but that it is considering “a variety of strategic options” for its linear businesses:
While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time The Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property and any report to that effect is unfounded.
Back in July, Disney CEO Bob Iger hinted that the company is interested in selling off parts of its business that it does not think is core to Disney. Iger noted that he wanted to keep ESPN under the Disney umbrella, but that other parts of the media business could be sold off such as ABC or other linear programming. Iger made no indications that he wanted to part ways with the lucrative theme park division.
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