Sinclair shows Disney the money with giant sports network purchase
The Hustle

Sinclair shows Disney the money with giant sports network purchase

TV broadcasting giant Sinclair will buy 21 of Disney’s regional sports networks in a $10B deal.


May 6, 2019

TV broadcasting giant, Sinclair Broadcast Group, will buy 21 regional sports networks from Disney in a $10.6B deal, WSJ reports

Disney was forced to sell off the regional networks as part of its $71B acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, after the Justice Department cited anti-competitive concerns with the ESPN owner.

The final price tag was considerably lower than analysts’ predictions (upwards of $25B). Only 2 other companies reportedly made bids — likely due in part to rising cable prices driving more viewers to opt for streaming sources over cable.

But Sinclair apparently isn’t sweating the cord-cutting

Already the nation’s biggest owner of local stations, Sinclair has been steadily beefing up its catalog (and its opportunities to offer bundling) with a mix of networks and streaming services. 

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That portfolio includes Tennis Channel, 24/7 Stadium, and a new regional Chicago network. Sinclair is also acquiring the YES Network in partnership with the New York Yankees and Amazon for $3.45B.  

This recent Disney victory is a salve to the burn Sinclair suffered last year, when its attempted purchase of Tribune Media blew up.

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