Ice Cube Trying To Put Together $15B Package To Buy Fox Sports Networks

Written by Ann Brown

Ice Cube is many things. A hip-hop artist. An actor. A film producer/director. An entrepreneur. A businessman. One thing’s for sure, he’s not just a rapper.

In a bid to grow his current venture — the BIG3 basketball league — Cube is attempting to put together a $15 billion package to purchase Fox Regional Sports Networks. This includes Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket in Los Angeles, YES Network in New York, and other regional networks serving major markets.


Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 39: Tunde Ogunlana
Jamarlin talks to family wealth advisor Tunde Ogunlana, CEO of Axial Family Advisors, about estate planning and Snoop Dogg’s comment that he doesn’t need a will (“I don’t give a f— when I’m dead. What am I gonna give a f— about?”). They also discuss the growing college debt bubble, whether more free tuition will help solve the problem, and why MBAs are like the bachelor’s degrees of 30 years ago.

Cube, whose league is currently broadcast on FS1 and Fox, is searching for investors in his bid. “He has reportedly approached media giant Viacom about his plans, and while they’ve politely declined to invest money, they did offer to help with programming if his bid is successful,” Uproxx reported.

Cube’s league is growing and getting more and more attention, even though Cube and his business partner, entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, have faced some challenges. Among these challenged was the end of a two-year TV contract with Fox Sports.

Cube is looking at other broadcast horizons.

Ice Cube

“It is really time to move on,” Cube said. But Kwatinetz has alluded to a belief that Fox Sports didn’t negotiate a new contract with the league because Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate was unhappy that Big3 also was trying to bid on the Fox sports channels. “We’re both competing for a similar asset, potentially,” Kwatinetz said.

Another challenge is a lawsuit with a Qatari investment firm that failed to make good on a promise to invest up to $20 million in the league. Cube and Kwatinetz are pursuing a damages and defamation claim and they also filed suit.

Still, Cube and Kwatinetz have a plan. “Big3 intends to grow to 12 teams from eight this year, and the league plans to widen its tour to 18 cities, up from 10. It will also have three games a week in each city, up from two games a week. And the league is lowering the age threshold to 27 from 30 to allow younger players into the league,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We’re in it for the long haul,” said Cube. “Our fan base is growing — more and more people are really getting into the league.”

The league’s third season starts in June.

 

Sign up for the Moguldom newsletter — business news you need to know about economic empowerment for the digital age, delivered to your inbox.


About Ann Brown

Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.