Donald Trump has bought NBC’s stake in Miss Universe and is selling it to talent agency turned production company WME/IMG for an undisclosed amount. Trump’s dalliance with NBC in and out of the courtroom has occupied a great amount of the Republican presidential candidate’s time and money. The new deal is Trump’s exit from the prolonged battle that will allow him to focus entirely on his White House bid.
Trump appears to be betting on himself to take the White House and is, as ever, putting his money where his mouth is.
Trump tweeted Friday morning that he had just bought NBC’s stake in the Miss Universe title. He tweeted, “Just purchased NBC’s half of The Miss Universe Organization and settled all lawsuits against them. Now own 100% — stay tuned!”
Bloomberg had announced that negotiations between Trump and WME/IMG were underway as the company made a bid for the pageant. WME/IMG had expressed interest in owning 100 percent of the company rather than a portion of it. Trump’s full ownership and willingness to sell may be their only door to getting the coveted title.
Kyell Thomas, head of entertainment at Octagon, said of the sale, “At the end of the day, Miss Universe is a media property. There aren’t too many properties that come up that have name recognition and global scale.”
No indication was given as to the pricing of the entire pageant. The sports and entertainment marketing expert also said valuing the property could be difficult as no such property had been on sale in a long while.
Trump ended his decade long partnership with NBC after he made derogatory remarks about Hispanics in June when announcing his bid for the presidency. Trump labeled Mexicans “rapists” and threatened mass deportations once he was president.
NBC, irked by the sentiments, said at the time, "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump. To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in The Apprentice on NBC.”
The billionaire businessman’s lawyers threatened legal action should NBC fail to air the Miss Universe USA Pageant. His team also filed a $500 million suit against Univision for not airing the contest in Spanish for its millions of Hispanic viewers.
The announced settlement between Trump and NBC could not have come at a better time since the Republican front runner appeared on Friday’s episode of the “Tonight Show” on NBC.