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.
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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.
“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.
SCOOP: Rapper @icecube is seeking additional financing to make big push to buy the 22 @21CF Regional Sports Networks; he and his team approached media giant @Viacom and its CEO Bob Bakish to place joint bid for networks more now @FoxBusiness @LizClaman
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) January 9, 2019
Way more than a rapper, hoss.
— The Other Weatherwax sister (@ainthavingit) January 10, 2019
You mean to say rapper, actor, director , big 3 owner, mogul ice cube in talks to buy 21 sports network stations.
— IEC Studios (@iecstudios) January 9, 2019
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially when they calling anybody a ‘rapper’in the news-when they wanna air somebody’s demos and giftwRap it with a criminal record expose’ for a ‘story ‘ smdh
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) January 10, 2019
Entrepreneur, rapper, and actor Ice Cube…
— Tim Neal (@143NMiT) January 10, 2019
Rapper? So much more than that. So much more and I hope Ice gets it's done. Think it's great what he's doing.
— EJ (@EJ_Brooklyn_Own) January 10, 2019
— DOMKING (@DomKingXXL) January 10, 2019