The broadcast group reups in 13 markets with deals that now extend to 2019 and 2020.
Sinclair Broadcast Group has signed long-term agreements renewing its ABC affiliations in 13 markets that come up for renewal during 2014 and 2015.
Three of the new agreements will expire on Aug. 31, 2019, and the other 11 will expire on Aug. 31, 2020. The markets being renewed include six of Sinclair’s ten biggest ABC markets, including five of the top six ABC markets.
The markets being renewed are: Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Peoria, Ill.; Asheville, N.C.; Charleston, W.Va.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Greensboro, N.C.; Pensacola, Fla.;
Champaign-Springfield, Ill.; and St Louis.
Sinclair is the largest ABC affiliate with 25 stations. The company’s remaining ABC affiliation agreements do not expire for several years.
Commenting on the transaction, David Smith, Sinclair president-CEO, said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with ABC to renew these affiliation agreements for five-year terms, including a number of agreements that were not set to expire until 2015. Furthermore, the ability to renew these affiliations on fair terms for periods ending as late as August of 2020 demonstrates that our interests continue to be fully aligned with those of the broadcast networks.”
Barry Faber, Sinclair’s EVP-general counsel, who oversees both Sinclair’s relationships with its networks, as well as with the multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) who retransmit Sinclair’s television stations, said: “As expected, we will continue to pay ABC reasonable fees, which will be invested in high quality broadcast content that enhances the value of our stations. The long-term visibility provided by these agreements regarding our costs of network programming positions us to appropriately price our retransmission consent rights in our negotiations with MVPDs.
“We are confident our net retransmission revenues will continue to grow as the retransmission consent market continues to mature and normalize, bringing broadcasters’ payments in line with their consistently dominant ratings among MVPD offerings and allowing Sinclair to realize the value of the programming offered by our stations and the networks with which we affiliate.”