Get Media Industry Alerts
Visit min's sister site:

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn   Google+   
Latest Issue »
Subscribe Now »
Get 4
Free Issues »

Is Hearst 's 20% Stake in ESPN Now Worth $13.2 Billion?

Monday, November 26, 2012

In the aftermath of News Corp. buying a 49% stake in the Yes Network on Nov. 20, analysts pegged the New York Yankees' cable channel value at $3 billion. That, in turn, led Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger to estimate ESPN's net worth to be $66 billion.

That is quite a potential net haul for Hearst Corp. On Nov. 8, 1990, CEO (since 1979) Frank Bennack, Jr., negotiated the purchase of RJR Nabisco's 20% stake in ESPN for "between $175 million and $185 million." Using the Juenger valuation, that means that Hearst's share in ESPN has appreciated by nearly $366% to $13.2 billion.

It also meant that then-Paul Kagan associates media analyst Larry Gerbrandt was spot-on in telling The New York Times (Nov. 8, 1990) that the price was "surprisingly low" because it was 20% to 30% less than what might have expected prior to the [1990] credit crunch and concurrent soft-deal environment. The price also reflects concern about advertising spending [in 1991]."

That certainly helped enhance the stature of the Los Angeles-based Gerbrandt, who is now Janas Consulting managing director.

The biggest beneficiary from ESPN's growth is, of course, Walt Disney Co. It acquired the 80% stake as part of the May 1995 purchase of CapitalCities ABC for $19 billion. That sum is now dwarfed by, per Juenger, Disney's share in ESPN being worth $52.8 billion.

If you have breaking news to share please contact min's editors.

Friend Us on Facebook at

Editorial and Design Awards Breakfast
View the Winners and Honorable Mentions
Complete Event Recap

The minsider Breakfast
December 1 | Yale Club, NYC
Register Today

Most Intriguing, Rising Stars & Hottest Launches Awards Celebration

December 3 | Grand Hyatt, NYC
Register Today

Best of the Web Awards
Entry Deadline: Dec. 4
Enter Today

See all events and awards
Search Jobs
Media Jobs
Production Editorial Associate
Annual Reviews
Palo Alto, CA

Michael J. Hennessy & Associates
Plainsboro, NJ

Director, Media Relations

Lockheed Martin
Bethesda, MD

Media Planner
Tampa, FL

White Papers
Get even smarter.  Need a quick primer on a media topic? Download a white paper!

Optimizing Your Printer Services - By MRI

Media Insights: minsider Viewpoints from the Front Lines - By min

View Whitepapers
min Contests

min contests

Want to sponsor a min contest?

Inside min This Week

Free Eletters — Sign up Now