SBD/14/Sports Media

WALT DISNEY LOOKS TO MAKE A BID FOR THE PEACOCK

     Disney is rumored to be "weighing a bid" of $5B for General
Electric's NBC unit, according to several executives familiar
with the negotiations.  "Disney executives have been saying
privately for the past few months that they were more interested"
in purchasing NBC than the other networks, because NBC is the
"most troubled network and therefore might be relatively less
expensive to acquire."  But some close to Disney "cautioned" that
the issue of price "still remained a significant obstacle" in the
talks (Jensen & Turner, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/14).  Due to the
price issue, Disney reportedly has also begun discussions with
CBS.  Although Disney has shown previous interest in acquiring a
network, several analysts yesterday said that they "felt it
unlikely" that Disney would actually make a deal at this time
(Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).
     DISNEY VS. TIME WARNER:  Disney's offer, which is for all of
NBC, could present a "much more attractive option" for GE, which
is also negotiating with Time Warner.  Unlike Disney's offer for
the entire network, Time Warner's bid is for 49% of NBC's
programming operations for a reported price of $2.5B.  While GE
originally found Time Warner's offer appealing, they "may find it
more attractive to unload the network business altogether" rather
than hang on to stations as envisioned in the Time Warner plan.
Disney also has a "much stronger balance sheet and a better
reputation" for marketing than Time Warner (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
9/14).
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Related Topics:

CBS, NBC, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney

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