Byron Allen and Sinclair Broadcast Group have just inked a $10 billion deal, acquiring 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) and Fox College Sports from Walt Disney Company. The deal includes exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, 16 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and 12 National Hockey League (NHL) teams.
Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley said, “This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets.”
He continued, “While consumer viewing habits have shifted, the tradition of watching live sports and news remains ingrained in our culture. As one of the largest local news producers in the country and an experienced producer of sports content, we are ideally positioned to transfer our skills to deliver and expand our focus on greater premium sports programming.”
The networks being acquired are Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Ohio, SportsTime Ohio, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Carolina, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports West, and Prime Ticket. Also included in the acquisition is Fox College Sports.
Byron Allen, who is a minority investor in Sinclair Broadcast Group, will become an equity and content partner in RSN Holding Company.
The deal is expected to be complete in February 2020.