Rap icon and entrepreneur Ice Cube recently tweeted, “We’re still in the game. Now it’s time to win it for the culture.” This was the same day the Department of Justice arranged to met with representatives of Big3 Basketball over accusations of manipulation by cable giant Charter Communications.
The meeting with DOJ’s antitrust team stems from Big3’s recent claims that Charter has been attempting to throw an auction over 21 regional sports channels to its largest shareholder, Liberty Media. Big3 says Charter is trying “to pollute the bidding process” for the regional sports networks by “preemptively threatening” to stop carrying the networks, which broadcast local sporting events, if they come under new ownership.
According to the New York Post, Big3’s letter said Charter conspired with Liberty Media, ran by John Malone, the owner of the Atlanta Braves, to block Big3 as “a diverse and inclusive competitor” and to lower the price Liberty may have to pay for the package of channels, which are reportedly worth $10 billion.
Ice Cube said in a statement, “The BIG3 is not part of the old boys club, and that doesn’t sit well with a company like Charter, which has been called out many times for unfair treatment of minority organizations and for consistent disregard of its own customers.”
He continued, “Companies like Charter want to keep the old world and will bend the rules to do business with the same people in the same tired way. Just like they always have. But it’s been way past time for a change. We have a vision for a more inclusive, more positive role for media in this country. The BIG3 buying the Fox RSNs is a big step into that future.”
He has reportedly submitted his final bid to Fox as of last week.