TV host turned mogul Byron Allen making bid for Broncos as NFL's first Black owner
Byron Allen wants to buy the Denver Broncos.
The comedian-turned-media executive announced his bid in a statement to Bloomberg on Tuesday, telling the business network that he was encouraged to consider NFL franchise ownership by a pair of prominent league power players.
“NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft came to me in November of 2019 and asked me to take a good look at buying an NFL team,” Allen's statement reads. “And after serious consideration, I strongly believe I can effectuate positive changes throughout the league. And for that reason, I will be making a bid for the Denver Broncos.”
If successful in his bid, Allen would become the first Black majority owner of an NFL team.
From standup circuit to media empire
Allen started his career as a standup comedian before hosting the long-running interview show "Kickin' it with Byron Allen" starting in 1992. He founded Entertainment Studios in 1993 and has overseen its growth into a powerful media conglomerate.
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The company's portfolio includes a stake in regional sports networks formerly owned by Disney and ownership of The Weather Channel, which it purchased in 2018.
Broncos expected to command record price
The Broncos announced that the franchise was for sale on Feb. 1. The announcement was long expected, but faced legal hurdles following the death of former owner Pat Bowlen, who left control of the franchise in a trust prior to his death. The trust hopes to find new ownership prior to the start of next season.
Forbes valued the Broncos at $3.75 billion, and the franchise is reportedly expected to fetch more than $4 billion, a record price for a U.S. sports team. While it's difficult to pinpoint Allen's exact net worth, multiple estimations place it between $400 million and $450 million.
While that's not play money, it's a long way from the multi-billion-dollar price tag the Broncos will command. If Allen is serious about his bid, it sounds like he'll need to find some deep-pocketed partners to join him.
Denver billionaire entrepreneur Robert F. Smith, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and ownership groups involving former Broncos greats Peyton Manning and John Elway have been speculated as other potential interested buyers.