Saturday, May 4, 2019

Confirmed: Sinclair To Acquire Regional Sports Nets

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has reached a deal it valued at $10.6 billion to buy 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The purchase price would be $9.6 billion after adjusting for minority equity interests and includes a $864 million termination fee payable to Disney, Sinclair said.

The sports networks were part of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s major entertainment assets. Disney agreed to sell them to pave the way for that deal’s approval.

In 2018, the regional sports networks portfolio had $3.8 billion in revenue.

The networks would be acquired, subject to approval from the Justice Department, by a newly formed, wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair called Diamond Sports Group LLC.

Comedian-turned-media-entrepreneur Byron Allen will be an equity and content partner in RSN Holding Company, Diamond’s indirect parent.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the companies had struck a deal for the 21 networks and that Sinclair had separately partnered with the New York Yankees to acquire the YES Network, another of the networks once controlled by Fox.

The YES Network sale, which hasn’t been completed but would be valued at $3.45 billion, also includes Inc. as a partner, the Journal reported.

Other suitors for the regional sports networks included Liberty Media Corp. and Big 3 Basketball LLC, whose management includes entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz and rapper and actor Ice Cube.

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