Sinclair’s deal to buy the former Fox regional sports networks values them at less than expected.
There may be a big silver lining to Sinclair’s loss of its proposed merger with Tribune. In its wake the group has shifted its strategy from TV station acquisition to nonbroadcast ventures like regional sports networks, OTT services and possibly some kind of national news service. And it’s continuing to lead the way toward ATSC 3.0, which it is convinced will multiply the value of broadcast spots through targeting, and enable lucrative new businesses like datacasting.
Byron Allen becomes an equity and content partner in the new RSN holding company, Diamond Sports Group. The RSNs includes exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball teams, 16 National Basketball Association teams, and 12 National Hockey League teams.
Disney’s sale of 21 regional sports networks is heating up yet again — thanks to comedian-turned-media mogul Byron Allen jumping into the already crowded and contentious race. Allen, 58, is joining forces with Sinclair Broadcast Group to bid on the RSNs.
Amazon is in talks to join Sinclair Broadcast Group in a deal to buy the 21 Fox regional sports TV networks that are being auctioned off by Disney. Sinclair is looking for Amazon’s backing as it preps a roughly $9 billion, all-cash offer for the so-called RSNs, sources say.
Sinclair Broadcast Group appears to have emerged as the leading candidate to win the auction of 21st Century Fox’s regional sports networks, having placed what people close to the deal call the top bid to acquire the properties.
Disney is still considering spinning out its RSNs to shareholders as it prepares to move forward and take final bids for the 21 sports networks on Monday.
MASN, the regional sports network owned by the Baltimore Orioles, has stopped payouts to the Washington Nationals. The Orioles are now taking the position that MLB has an ownership or financial interest in its rival.