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Disney Said to Buy Stake in $3.5 Billion MLB Web Unit

  • Disney has four-year option to acquire additional 33% stake
  • Pact gives Disney major foothold in video-streaming business
The Walt Disney Co. Mickey Mouse logo is seen on a fence at the company's studios in Burbank, California, U.S., on Monday, May 9, 2016.
Phtotographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Updated on

Walt Disney Co. agreed to acquire a one-third stake in the video-streaming unit of MLB Advanced Media, in a deal that values the business at about $3.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Disney, the owner of ESPN and ABC, will also obtain a four-year option to buy an additional 33 percent stake in the digital arm of Major League Baseball, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. WME-IMG, the parent of William Morris Endeavor and the owner of media properties including the Miami Open tennis tournament, was among the bidders for a stake in the business, the person said. A final accord hasn’t been executed.