Major media assets are at the center of an acquisition battle that has become increasingly political. The New York Post reports that the tussle to gain control of Disney’s 21 regional sports TV networks “just got a little weirder.”
“Jeff Kwatinetz — who along with rapper Ice Cube is spearheading a bid for the so-called RSNs with backing from investors like Magic Johnson and LL Cool J — signaled late Thursday that he believes the Koch brothers have entered the bidding war,” The Post reports. “What’s more, the Hollywood executive said he believes the conservative-minded Kochs are teaming up with Sinclair Broadcast Group — the right-leaning TV-station empire — to quash a ‘diversity’-inspired programming plan that he and Ice Cube have mapped out to transform the RSNs into a 24/7 broadcast network.”
Kwatinetz sent out a tweet April 25 about the potential battle with the Kochs, which you can see below. Along with a photo of a baby, he wrote the message: “She deserves a world of diversity and inclusion. A network where those values could have a platform. The Koch brothers and Sinclair want to stop that. Who will step up to help Cube, LL, Magic and the rest of us win?”
As we reported late last week, Amazon has also been in talks to join the Sinclair bid.
“A spokesman for Charles and David Koch, who spent an estimated $400 million backing conservative candidates in the midterm elections, denied the brothers have any involvement in Sinclair’s bid for Disney’s RSNs, which are getting sold in exchange for approval for Disney’s $71.3 billion Fox merger,” The Post reports.