Ice Cube's Big3 U.S. basketball league has secured the support of sporting and entertainment stars including Serena Williams and Snoop Dogg as content partners for its $10 billion bid to buy 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co., according to a person familiar with the matter.
The league, started by the rapper and actor in 2017, submitted its offer in recent days, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the process isn't public. While private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP and jewelry maker Carolyn Rafaelian are financial backers of the bid, Ice Cube is teaming up with Williams, Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart and Michael Strahan's SMAC Productions as content partners.
In pursuing the assets, the Ice Cube-led group is competing with John Malone's Liberty Media, Major League Baseball and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Disney agreed to sell the 22 networks to win regulatory approval for its $71 billion takeover of 21st Century Fox's entertainment empire. The next round of bids are due mid-April and Disney is likely to decide on a winner soon after that, people with knowledge of the auction said.