October 9, 2018 at 3:21 pm #184052
According to the Business Journal Article Sinclair is in talks to get the Cox Media Stations like WSB and KIRO. This is happening at the same time that Sinclair is in talks to get the Fox Sports Regional networks from Disney and Fox.
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. is eyeing potential deals with its attempted takeover of Tribune Media Co. a thing of the past.
CEO Chris Ripley said Tuesday the pipeline for mergers and acquisitions “is quite full right now.” In particular, Hunt Valley-based Sinclair could look at acquiring 14 TV stations currently owned by Cox Enterprises Inc. or 21st Century Fox Inc.’s portfolio of 22 regional sports networks.
Ripley called the regional sports networks an “interesting fit” because Sinclair’s already has the infrastructure in place to improve production, administration and sales for the networks. Sinclair (NASDAQ: SBGI) is the largest TV broadcaster in the U.S. with 191 television stations in 89 markets.
The regional sports networks are up for sale because the Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) acquisition of Fox (NASDAQ: FOX). The U.S. Department Justice made the sale of the networks a condition for approval of the $71 billion deal. Guggenheim Securities valued the package at $22.4 billion, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“”It’s a very interesting fit,” Ripley said “It of course has to be at the right value. It has to be accretive.”
To make a deal happen, Ripley said Sinclair would need to partner with a private equity firm because it has to be an all-cash transaction.
“You could do it through a joint venture with a private equity fund where it would be a separate sister company, or you can do it on balance sheet,” Ripley said.
Sinclair has been looking for deals as it looks to gain the size and scale needed to survive in today’s media landscape. People have been cutting cords and are choosing to use services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTubeTV to satisfy their viewing needs.
Broadcasters like Sinclair need to get bigger and evolve, Ripley said. One of those ways is by adding more subscription-based content, like Fox’s regional sports networks.
Sinclair already has the Tennis Channel, Ring of Honor and other subscription-based offerings. The broadcaster will also soon be launching its own streaming service called STIRR, Ripley said.
Sinclair’s subscription services now contribute more than half of the company’s annual revenue, Ripley said. Sinclair had revenue of $2.7 billion in 2017.
At the same time, Sinclair is also looking to add more local TV stations. Ripley said Sinclair wants to be one of the last few remaining broadcasters after consolidation. It’s one of the reasons Sinclair attempted to complete a $3.9 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Tribune (NYSE: TRCO) and its 42 stations. That deal fell apart while trying to attain federal regulatory approval.
The Federal Communications Commission referred the proposed deal to an administrative law judge because of concerns that Sinclair tried to mislead the agency. Although the deal is dead, the issue of Sinclair’s alleged misconduct is still pending a hearing. Ripley said Sinclair expects the matter to be dismissed soon.
October 9, 2018 at 5:17 pm #184057
- This topic was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Bill Recto.
Eric Jon MagnusonParticipant
Maybe even more than with the cratered deal for Tribune, a Sinclair/Cox tie-up might prove to be challenging in Seattle–as Sinclair already owns KOMO and KUNS. Here, there’d likely also be some issues in Dayton, Tulsa, and maybe even Pittsburgh.
Beyond that, though, would Sinclair decide to also take the plunge and fully reenter radio? (It currently only has that Seattle cluster.)
Still, the way that BJ article is written, I wouldn’t expect anything to happen really soon.October 10, 2018 at 8:56 am #184058
Cox is retaining radio, so that’s not an issue.
What is an issue is the FCC still has Sinclair under administrative limbo because of the shenanigans they tried to pull with the Tribune merger. The administrative law judge appointed to go over the “sale” of WGN-TV to a Baltimore auto dealer tied to Sinclair CEO David Smith hasn’t done anything yet and is in no hurry. So Sinclair cannot legally buy or sell any terrestrial broadcast stations at this moment in time, and the results of the midterms next month (where part, or all, of the legislative branch might flip to Democrat control) could complicate things even more for the conglomerate.
What Sinclair should be doing is keeping as quiet as possible on the M&A front, and guess what, they can’t even do that correctly.
Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!October 14, 2018 at 9:44 pm #184087
Cox is retaining radio, so that’s not an issue. What is an issue is the FCC still has Sinclair under administrative limbo because of the shenanigans they tried to pull with the Tribune merger. The administrative law judge appointed to go over the “sale” of WGN-TV to a Baltimore auto dealer tied to Sinclair CEO David Smith hasn’t done anything yet and is in no hurry. So Sinclair cannot legally buy or sell any terrestrial broadcast stations at this moment in time, and the results of the midterms next month (where part, or all, of the legislative branch might flip to Democrat control) could complicate things even more for the conglomerate. What Sinclair should be doing is keeping as quiet as possible on the M&A front, and guess what, they can’t even do that correctly.True and also every time Sinclair’s PR or Board or CEO says they are merging with another media outlet, the Persistent rumors of a proposed Sinclair News/talk Network comes into play as in getting Pro-Trump Pundits and viewers away from Fox News Channel as one of the examples here and this goes back to when Sinclair was proposing to take over KTLA Los Angeles as part of the Tribune talks.You will never get Sinclair’s leaders to remain silent on any deal though.October 15, 2018 at 6:38 pm #184089
Now Sinclair’s History is back in the Spotlight in the New Yorker. Yes its about Sinclair COmpeting against Fox News for Trump audiences but also its in the Spotlight again after we discussed about the Rumored talks that Sinclair was going after Cox Owned stations like KIRO, WFXT and WSBOctober 19, 2018 at 1:24 pm #184137
Here is another set of talks the leader of Sinclair has made
In some of his first public comments since the FCC torpedoed his company’s long-planned acquisition of rival Tribune Media, Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Chris Ripley doubled down on his staunchly deregulatory rhetoric.
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Moderator Rick Howe let Ripley off the hook in terms of Tribune, which is embroiled in a legal fight with Sinclair over the merger meltdown, during the 30-minute conversation at NAB Show New York. But he did ask Ripley for an update on Sinclair’s general M&A outlook. “We’re just entirely too small as an industry,” he said, given that broadcasters have to go up against deep-pocketed tech giants like Netflix and Google.
“The entire broadcast industry has a market capitalization of maybe no more than $10 billion,” he said. “We’re now in a world where we’re competing against companies that are worth hundreds of billions of dollars. … More consolidation has to be part of the mix. We’re focused on more consolidation within television” as well as some adjacent markets like cable.
Speaking of cable, Ripley reiterated comments from over the summer that the company is actively considering a bid for the regional sports networks that Disney must sell off from the 21st Century Fox assets it is soon to acquire.
The Focus goes back to the RSN from Disney and Fox over FOx Sports West in Loa Angeles.October 26, 2018 at 12:56 pm #184194
Here is a follow up on Sinclair and how they responded to security threats.January 11, 2019 at 2:38 pm #185180
Update Tegna, Hearst and EW Scripps are named as candidate to get the Cox stations.
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