Sinclair’s sidecar partner is paying London Broadcasting $9.5 million for independent KTXD, according to an FCC filing. The deal would give Sinclair a duopoly in Dallas, assuming that its purchase of Tribune also passes FCC muster. Tribune owns CW affil KDAF there.
Cunningham Broadcasting, which owns sidecar stations for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, has agreed to purchase independent KTXD Dallas from London Broadcasting for $9.5 million.
The purchase, along with the approval of Sinclair’s merger with Tribune, would give Sinclair a virtual duopoly in Dallas. Tribune owns CW affiliate KDAF there.
The deal confirms rumors that Sinclair has been trying to buy low-cost independents in major markets.
Sources say that Sinclair plans on using the second stations as so-called lighthouse stations during the transition to the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard.
When the Sinclair main stations move to ATSC 3.0, it will simulcast on the lighthouse stations in the current ATSC 1.0 standard so as not to disrupt service to people watching over the air with ATSC 1.0 sets.
According to BIA/Kelsey, Cunningham owns stations in 14 markets. The stations, affiliates of several networks, are operated by companion Sinclair stations.
Kalil & Co. represented London in the transaction.