Magic Johnson and Ice Cube to Acquire Sports Networks From Disney

Magic Johnson and Ice Cube

Basketball legend and entrepreneur, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, is joining the bidding group of rapper, actor, and entrepreneur, O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson Sr. to acquire 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co.
“Very happy to add Magic Johnson to our bidding group for Disney’s RSNs,” Ice Cube wrote in a tweet.

Ice Cube has placed a bid to buy the sports networks through Big 3, his 3-on-3 basketball league that features former NBA stars competing in half-court 3-on-3 games. Through the RSNs, he plans to air content from celebrities and athletes such as Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg, and Will Smith, who is also part of the bidding group.

Johnson’s addition to the bidding group came shortly after his surprise announcement to step down as Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations. He said he wanted to return to a more normal life doing things that make him happy.

Meanwhile, it has not yet been confirmed if Johnson will be lending financial support to the bid.

The RSNs, which airs the games of Detroit Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings, are on sale until the middle of June as a part of Walt Disney Co.’s $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets. The deal, which closed last month, has a condition that Disney, which already owns ESPN, has to sell the RSNs with concern that it would have too much control over sports television if it also owned the RSNs.

Other bidders for the RSNs include Liberty Media Corp., which partnered with Major League Basketball, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. The total offers amount to $10 billion, which is lower than the $21 billion initial estimates, according to Bloomberg.

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