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Monday, February 26, 2024
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High-Profile Departures Fuel Speculation Fox Could Sell Sports Arm

Fox-Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

The loss of both Troy Aikman and Joe Buck is fueling speculation that Fox Corp. might consider selling Fox Sports.

Fox will save up to $160 million by letting the duo go to ESPN, suggesting Fox is in “cost-cutting mode,” according to Eric Jackson, founder and president of the EMJ Capital hedge fund. “It’s reasonable to guess whether Fox Corp. is thinking of selling all of Fox Sports.” 

One television executive told FOS the cost-cutting “could mean [Fox] is going into acquisition mode.” 

Fox Sports could be a target for tech giants like Apple or sportsbooks like FanDuel:

  • Fox controls the NFL’s most-watched game window on Sunday afternoons — and two of the next three Super Bowls.
  • It has the World Series through 2028. 
  • Fox holds a majority stake in the Big Ten Network and divides rights with ESPN.
  • Its NASCAR deal runs through 2024.

Fox has been backing off some sports. At a savings of $660 million annually, Fox will hand off “Thursday Night Football” to Amazon this season and pulled out of its 12-year USGA deal seven years early in 2020. 

Fox previously sold its 21 regional sports networks as part of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox in 2019. 

Apple or Amazon Interested?

Even if Fox Sports goes on the block, Jackson doubts Apple or Amazon would be interested. 

“Too much hair comes with owning a legacy cable asset for them,” he said.

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