(Warning: a rambling ramble will ramble rambly throughout this post.)
Latest quarters show profits (ESPN has nearly always shown a profit), especially in the top gun, ABC.
However (as I almost stated in DCA thread #469 or so), the TV networks, save maybe Disney Channel and possibly ABC Family Channel, are not in alignment with what most of America thinks of when they think, "Disney."
I believe people think "Disney = Family Entertainment." Although it's a niche market (and the kid population can rise and fall), it's generally considered a good thing when you are (were, some might say) the best in the market.
And while it's generally agreed that Eisner (and thus DIS) got taken for a runaway train ride in the Fox Family Channel deal, the CapCities deal, based solely on ESPN's stable, has been a modestly profitable venture.
Keeping them might make some money. However, every time Disney shows some unfamily-friendly crap (or even unfamily-friendly high-quality shows), the Disney image suffers. That tends to leak over to the movies and possibly theme parks.
Since the TV networks aren't extremely tied to the Disney name ("Disney's ABC network"? "Disney's ESPN"? No, that's not what anyone sees), not as, say, the parks or the movies are, it won't be a difficult physical sale. This is probably a good reason why the proposed sale to Comcast fell through: Comcast didn't want any of the "Disney" assets. It wanted the TV networks. (And maybe the film library for PPV revenues.) Eh, toss off the film studio and parks to whomever.
As I stated elsewhere (at MP long ago or here), the film studio and the theme parks are heavily synergistic. It's how Walt made DL and why it is successful. They will always carry the Disney name or at least the Disney legacy on them.
I can think of two suitors for the TV networks off the top of my head:
1. Time Warner (I've said this before), as they're the largest studio without a TV network, and no, the WB, with 10 shows in the bottom 10 of the ratings cannot be considered seriously.
2. Comcast, which has already disclosed its interest.
How to do:
DIS is split into two stock entities. Each share of DIS gets a share each of "Disney Studios and Parks" and "Disney TV," priced according to best estimates. Then, see what happens. Maybe someone puts in a takeover bid for DisTV.
What also should be noted is that one main reason for buying Cap Cities is so there would be a place for Disney movies to be shown without the hassle of bidding, especially for the sucky ones. And, the studio could then expand into making TV shows. A deal could be made between the two new companies that makes sure the movies and TV shows are seen on TV.
I invite any and all comments.