It’s paying Venture Technologies Group $10 million for KBCB Bellingham, which now airs ShopHQ and Estrella programming. The move follows last month’s notice that it is ending the Fox affiliation of Tribune’s KCPQ.
Fox, after telling Tribune last month that it was taking away the network affiliation from Tribune’s KCPQ Seattle, has moved to fill the gap by buying its own station in the market.
Venture Technologies Group, owner of KBCB Bellingham, Wash., is selling the station in suburban Seattle to Fox Television Stations for $10 million, according to an application filed at the FCC. KBCB now carries ShopHQ and Estrella TV programming.
As part of its effort to get the most from its NFL TV rights contract, Fox notified Tribune about two weeks ago that it would be terminating its affiliation with Tribune’s KCPQ and, according to sources, offered to swap its MNT affiliate in Chicago, WPWR, for KCPQ. At the time, Tribune confirmed that it had received the termination notice, but said that it had no deal with Fox for a swap or anything else.
Fox Television Stations President Jack Abernethy has long made clear the company’s desire to own stations in top markets with NFC teams to take full advantage of the Fox network’s rights to broadcast the NFC games every Sunday.
Over the past two years, Fox has added two NFC markets to its lineup. In one case, the network dropped an existing affiliate to pave the way for the acquisition.