The Walt Disney Company’s CEO John Starks is no stranger to trying to convince investors that a deal will boost the company’s value.
A decade ago, the company sold a controlling stake to Comcast for $3.8 billion and the two companies eventually merged to become Time Warner.
Starks has been pushing for the merger ever since, calling the merger a “game changer” that would help Disney “dominate the premium cable business in the United States.”
That’s been the mantra for Starks and the Disney-NBCUniversal team for years, even as the company has struggled to win back subscribers.
The cable giant has been struggling with a stagnant TV viewing audience, and the merger could help it grow its subscriber base even further.
But Starks’ efforts have also backfired.
Starkeys first push to get the merger done fell flat in the Senate in February of 2016.
The company was able to convince the Senate to give Comcast a $39 billion bailout in exchange for the cable giant agreeing to buy Time Warner for $54 billion.
But the deal fell apart when Senate Democrats filibustered the vote, and Starks pulled the plug on the merger last month.
That’s a big blow to Starks, who was hoping to push through the merger with Comcast.
But in recent weeks, Starks himself has said the merger isn’t even close to going through.
He told CNBC’s Squawk Box that he’s not worried at all about a merger with the cable giants because “it’s not going to happen.”