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Sinclair Broadcast Group Buys Tribune Media Co.

by | May 8, 2017

Sinclair Broadcast Group, based in Hunt Valley, Md, is buying Tribune Media for about $3.9 billion, a deal made possible after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted last month to ease a limit on TV-station ownership in the U.S., reports Ad Age, which added, in part:

“Sinclair will pay $43.50 a share to gain Tribune TV stations in big media markets like New York, Chicago and Miami, strengthening its hand in negotiations with pay-TV distributors and major broadcast networks such as 21st Century Fox Inc.

“The marriage of Sinclair and Tribune, two of the largest local TV station owners in the U.S., creates a U.S. broadcasting behemoth to face down online competitors vying for a piece of the local advertising pie. The deal, expected to be the first in a mergers-and-acquisitions frenzy following a historic airwave auction, sent the shares of Tribune surging as high $43.04 in New York.

“Fox and Nexstar had also been looking to make the first splash in the broadcasting deals derby by acquiring Tribune. Fox, with funding from Blackstone Group LP, had been planning an offer but in the end didn’t submit a bid, according to a person familiar with the matter. Nexstar Media Group Inc. also was preparing an offer, according to people familiar with the matter.

“For Fox, the deal means Sinclair will have more bargaining power, with control of 28% of the nation’s Fox affiliate stations. Sinclair owns 54 local Fox affiliates across the country, from Pittsburgh’s WPGH to Oklahoma City’s KOKH. Gaining the 16 owned by Tribune, including Seattle’s KCPQ and Denver’s KDVR, would extend Sinclair’s lead as the largest owner of local Fox stations across the U.S.”

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