Rafaelian and Ice Cube Join Forces in Multi-Billion Bid to Buy 22 Regional Sports Networks

Monday, November 05, 2018


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Ice Cube and Carolyn Rafaelian. Photo of Cube by Adam Bielawski

Billionaire CEO of Alex and Ani Carolyn Rafaelian has confirmed to GoLocal that she and rapper and movie star Ice Cube are joining together to bid on 22 regional sports networks including the Yes Network.

In June, the Department of Justice announced that it will require The Walt Disney Company to divest 22 Regional Sports Networks (“RSNs”) as a condition of its $71.3 billion acquisition of certain assets from Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. 

Rafaelian told GoLocal, “Collaborating with Cube on Big3 was exhilarating and we both share a beautiful vision of where the world is headed and we want to be part of that evolution.”


Latest for Rafaelian and Ice Cube

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Ice Cube launched the BIG3 basketball league in 2017.

In July, GoLocal reported Alex and Ani partnered with The BIG3 Basketball League to create championship rings for the second year in a row.

The rings were co-designed designed by Ice Cube and Alex and Ani's Rafaelian.

"Ice Cube has a keen eye for design and gave great feedback throughout the entire year-long process of its creation. His passion for the details was truly inspiring and mirrored his dedication to the League. We are excited to sponsor the BIG3 which we believe reflects the values of ALEX AND ANI and our customers,” said Rafaelian.

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Ice Cube added, "I'd like to thank Alex and Ani for insisting on top quality during the design process and creating something so cool and meaningful for the players."

The championship rings were unveiled on July 20 during games in Miami at American Airlines Arena.


Divestiture Ordered by DOJ

According to the Department of Justice’s complaint, Disney and Fox are competing to sell cable sports programming to MVPDs in various local markets across the United States.  MVPD stands for "multi-channel video programming distributor."

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“Because of this competition, the complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition would likely result in MVPDs paying higher prices for cable sports programming in those local markets.  The proposed settlement requires Disney to divest 22 RSNs, currently owned by Fox, to a buyer acceptable to the Department.  The Department has determined that the divestitures would resolve antitrust concerns arising from Disney’s acquisition of certain assets from Fox,” reported Justice.

The Walt Disney Company revenues were approximately $55 billion for its 2017 fiscal year. 

Twenty-First Century Fox revenues were approximately $28.5 billion for its 2017 fiscal year.  The Fox assets that Disney will be acquiring, including the Fox RSNs, generated $19 billion in 2017 revenues.  

“American consumers have benefited from head-to-head competition between Disney and Fox’s cable sports programming that ultimately has prevented cable television subscription prices from rising even higher,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim in a statement. “Today’s settlement will ensure that sports programming competition is preserved in the local markets where Disney and Fox compete for cable and satellite distribution.” 

According to press reports, numerous other players are bidding for the 22 RSNs.

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This past week, Rafaelian was featured in People Magazine as one of 25 Women Changing the World.


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