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NBA Commissioner Silver ‘rooting’ for Disney in the battle against Comcast for Fox

Key Points
  • Silver did say, however, that "whatever happens will be positive for us."
  • The NBA commissioner also expressed optimism about how video streaming will affect the future of the sports league.
NBA Commissioner weighs in on media mergers

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed a preference for Disney in its battle against Comcast for Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox in an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin.

“I’m a big Bob Iger fan. Of course Disney is one of our huge partners,” he said in Sun Valley, Idaho. “In a way, I am rooting for them, but Comcast has a lot of our [regional sports networks], and I know Brian Roberts and Steve Burke are incredible executives as well. So I think whatever happens will be positive for us.”

Silver may get his wish, as Disney’s $71.3 billion bid has already from the U.S. government, on the condition it sell 22 regional sports networks.

The NBA commissioner also saw promise in a future beyond traditional networks. Since more people are consuming sports content on smartphones and tablets, he said that “the integration with more technology companies is a very positive move for us.”

Streaming companies such as Amazon “have the ability, especially with a global property like the NBA, to take us to people all around the world,” Silver said.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and