Allen Media Group founder Byron Allen has expressed interest in buying Paramount Global, but the media mogul says he’s not interested in the company’s film library or studio lot. What is he going after? Also, WWE founder Vince McMahon has resigned following allegations of battery and sex trafficking. What does that mean for the Netflix-WWE deal? Kim Masters and Matt Belloni explore.
A linear TV empire? As previously reported by Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw, Skydance Media owner David Ellison has expressed interest in merging Paramount Studios with his company. Byron Allen has made a $30 billion offer to buy Paramount Global, including taking on the company’s roughly $15 billion debt, with an interest in growing his linear television portfolio. “He wants to quadruple down on CBS, and Nickelodeon, and MTV, and all of these garbage, linear TV assets that nobody else wants to touch,” Belloni says.
In the nick of time? The news of WWE founder Vince McMahon’s resignation follows the announcement of a ten year, $5 billion deal with Netflix. “This particular lawsuit that just got fired was full of such disgusting allegations — and specifically gross things that I would not say on the radio — that it's possible, the whole thing with Netflix would have gotten screwed up if it had broken earlier,” Masters speculates.
Par for the course? TKO Group companies WWE and UFC have managed to bounce back following several incidents, leaving some to question what scandal will take things too far. “Vince was pretty much banished for previous allegations, including some payoffs to women. And that didn't prevent WWE from this massive sale to Endeavor and a rights deal with Netflix,” says Belloni. “So it's kind of odd, you know, they seem to operate outside some of the norms for traditional entertainment now.”