DISNEY TO SELL OFF KCAL TO ENSURE CAP CITIES DEAL
The Justice Department approved Walt Disney Co.'s
acquisition of Cap Cities/ABC after Disney said it would sell its
L.A. TV station, KCAL-TV Channel 9, to "appease federal
regulators," according to the L.A. TIMES. Disney would keep
KABC-TV. This decision "paves the way for review" of the $19B
purchase by the FCC, whose "approval is considered pro forma."
Disney has agreed to find a buyer for KCAL within nine months of
the Cap Cities purchase and to "close a sale within a year."
KCAL has rights to the Lakers, Angels, and half of the Mighty
Ducks' games. Disney owns the Ducks and awaits MLB approval for
the purchase of a 25% stake in the Angels. Sources said Disney's
"insistence that the new owner air Ducks and Angeles games could
be a deterrent," as the sports contracts "could affect the sale
price." The TIMES' Shiver & Hofmeister note "there are few
obvious buyers for the station," and they doubt Disney would be
able to get back the full $320M it paid for KCAL in '88.
Industry execs said of the "large station groups," Viacom's
Paramount Group is "the most logical buyer." ITT Corp. said
having a L.A. station was not necessary for its plan to build a
national sports-and-news network (L.A. TIMES, 1/17).