New Fox is calling off plans to bid for the 22 Fox regional sports networks that Disney needs to divest due to its acquisition of several 21st Century Fox assets. The assets Disney acquired include Fox’s film and TV studio, its 30 percent stake in Hulu and several cable channels, in addition to the sports networks. Regulators told Disney that it could not own both ESPN and those networks. “Fox confirms that it does not intend to bid for any of the Fox regional sports networks that Disney (or any entity operating on its behalf) may sell as required by the consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice,” 21st Century Fox said in a Jan. 11 SEC filing. According to FOX Business, both Sinclair Broadcasting and rapper Ice Cube are still interesting in acquiring the properties, which analysts have said could come with a price tag of around $20 billion.
CBS News is reportedly in talks with former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) about taking on a role at the network. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Flake, a prominent critic of the president, was seen Jan. 4 at CBS headquarters in Manhattan. The Reporter said that CBS declined to comment on the situation. Last June, The Daily Beast reported that Flake had met with the heads of CNN and MSNBC about potential opportunities. If he does wind up at CBS, it will go against the guess of president Trump. “Jeff Flake is now selling real estate, or whatever he’s doing,” Trump said at a Jan. 2 cabinet meeting. “He’ll probably go to work for CNN. That’s my prediction.”
IMDb, the movie website owned by Amazon, has launched a free streaming video channel. IMDb Freedive is available in the U.S. on the IMDb website as well as on Amazon Fire TV devices. The company says that a mobile app version of the service will be available soon. The ad-supported channel, which does not require viewers to purchase a subscription, offers movies and such TV programs as The Bachelor and Without a Trace. The video content currently available on IMDb—including trailers, celebrity interviews and short-form original series—is being bundled into Freedive, says the company, and will still be free to watch.