NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed a preference for Disney in its battle against Comcast for Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox in an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin.
“I’m a big Bob Iger fan. Of course Disney is one of our huge partners,” he said in Sun Valley, Idaho. “In a way, I am rooting for them, but Comcast has a lot of our [regional sports networks] and I know Brian Roberts and Steve Burke are incredible executives as well. So I think whatever happens will be positive for us.”
Silver may get his wish, as Disney’s $71.3 billion bid has already gotten approval from the U.S. government, on the condition it sell 22 regional sports networks.
The NBA commissioner also saw promise in a future beyond traditional networks. Since more people are consuming sports content on smartphones and tablets, he said that “the integration with more technology companies is a very positive move for us.”
Streaming companies like Amazon “have the ability, especially with a global property like the NBA, to take us to people all around the world,” Silver said.