With Disney looking to complete it’s acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets, Fox is looking to its next venture. The Wrap is reporting today that 21st Century Fox plans to purchase 7 television stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group for a total cost of $910 million. The deal would expand Fox’s local television reach to nearly half of U.S. households and grant it a market presence of 19 of the top 20 DMAs.
The deal would include key markets which would pair with Fox’s sports rights. Fox would acquire ownership of stations in Seattle, Miami, Denver, Cleveland, Sacramento, San Diego and Salt Lake City; Miami’s WSFL is a CW affiliate. Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, had this to say:
“This transaction illustrates Fox’s commitment to local broadcasting and we are pleased to add these stations to our existing portfolio. This expansion will further enrich our valuable alignments with the NFL, including our new Thursday Night Football rights, MLB and college sports assets.”
After the Disney deal is complete, Fox will still control 28 stations in 17 markets (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Houston) as well as the Fox broadcast network, Fox News and Fox Sports. Fox has already entered into network affiliation agreements with Sinclair and will grant Sinclair options to pick up two of its stations.
Meanwhile, Sinclair Broadcast Group sees this sell-off as a positive, as they look for regulatory approval for their proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. That purchase would make Sinclair the largest television station owner. The acquisition by 21st Century Fox is slated for the second half of this year, if regulators approve.
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Source: The Wrap.