SBD/1/Sports Media


          Disney has exercised its option to purchase Paul
     Allen's remaining interest in Starwave Corporation.  Last
     year, Disney made an initial investment in Seattle-based
     Starwave and formed two joint-venture Web sites, ESPN
     SportsZone and  Starwave and the two sites will
     now become part of Buena Vista Internet Group (BVIG),
     Disney's Internet initiative arm.  As part of BVIG, all
     existing Starwave sites will continue and Starwave's offices
     will serve as the core technology developers for all of
     BVIG.  Starwave Chair & CEO Mike Slade will become BVIG
     President, while Patrick Naughton will serve as Chief
     Technology Officer, and Tom Phillips will run the ESPN
     sports group (Walt Disney Co.).  BVIG Chair Jake Winebaum
     will continue in that role (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/1). 
          DETAILS: In L.A., Martin Peers reports that Disney had
     owned 30% of Starwave, and its acquisition of the remaining
     70% is "believed to value" Starwave at "more than" $300M. 
     Although terms were not disclosed, Allen was believed to
     have held about 56% of Starwave before yesterday's deal, and
     "likely walked away" with more than $150M.  Peers writes
     that the pact gives Disney the "ability to group its sites
     together and offer advertising space in packages across a
     range of sites" (DAILY VARIETY, 5/1).  On Tuesday, before
     the Starwave deal was announced, Disney Chair Michael Eisner
     spoke at the Society of American Business Editors and
     Writers conference and said that his company wants to be "an
     aggressive competitor on the Internet."  Eisner:
     "Eventually, content will prevail on the Internet just like
     it's prevailing now on cable [TV]" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/30).

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