Sinclair Acquires 21 Regional Sports Networks From Disney For $10.6 Bln
(RTTNews) - TV station giant Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (SBGI), Friday said it has agreed to buy 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney Company (DIS) for a deal worth $10.6 billion.
The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice. Previously, Federal Communications Commission had blocked a merger between Sinclair and the Tribune Media Company due to concerns about Sinclair's dominance.
Disney acquired the sports networks as part of its $71 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox's assets. However, the Justice Department required Disney to sell the networks to gain the merger's overall approval, as the addition of those networks and ESPN will give Disney a huge reach in the market.
The sports networks to be acquired by Sinclair are: Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Ohio, SportsTime Ohio, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Carolina, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports West, and Prime Ticket. Also included in the acquisition is Fox College Sports.
The regional sports network portfolio includes exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, 16 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and 12 National Hockey League (NHL) teams. In calendar year 2018, the RSN portfolio delivered a combined $3.8 billion in revenue across 74 million subscribers.