Magic Johnson Joins Ice Cube’s Bidding Group to Acquire Sports Networks From Disney

Rapper, actor, and entrepreneur O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson Sr. announced Wednesday that Magic Johnson has joined his underdog bid to acquire 21 regional sports networks (RSN) from Walt Disney Co. “Very happy to add Magic Johnson to our bidding group for Disney’s RSNs,” wrote Jackson in a tweet.


Jackson has placed a bid to buy the RSNs through his 3-on-3 basketball league, Big3, which he founded in partnership with entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz in 2017. The traveling summer league gives former NBA stars the opportunity to compete in half court 3-on-3 games while offering sports fans a cherished moment of nostalgia. Should he win the bid, Jackson plans to air content from celebrities and athletes such as Snoop Dogg, Serena Williams, and Will Smith, who has also joined the project.

As of now, it has not been confirmed whether Johnson, who abruptly stepped down as president of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month, will be lending financial support to the effort.

The regional sports network airs Detroit Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings games, along with 21 sister stations. The local networks have been for sale as part of The Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets. According to the Los Angeles Times:

Disney agreed to sell the sports networks to get clearance for its $71-billion takeover of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment empire, a transaction that closed last month. Regulators were concerned that Disney would have too much control over sports television if it owned both ESPN and the regional broadcasters. Disney has to sell the networks within 90 days of the Fox deal’s completion on March 19.

In addition to Big3, other offers in the final-round bids for the sports networks have been submitted by telecom billionaire John Malone and his Liberty Media Corp. in partnership with Major League Baseball along with the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. All offers are reportedly in the neighborhood of $10 billion.