Media mogul Byron Allen continues to expand his growing portfolio with the acquisition of more than two dozen sports networks. Reportedly, Sinclair Broadcast Group, where Allen serves as a minority investor, purchased 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) and Fox College Sports from Walt Disney Co.
According to a press release from the media conglomerate, “the transaction ascribes a total enterprise value to the RSNs equal to $10.6 billion, reflecting a purchase price of $9.6 billion, after adjusting for minority equity interests.”
Allen “has agreed to become an equity and content partner in a newly formed indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair and an indirect parent of Diamond (“RSN Holding Company”). “
The RSN portfolio has “exclusive local rights” to 42 professional teams, including 14 Major League Baseball teams, 16 National Basketball Association teams, 12 National Hockey League teams, and made a combined $3.8 billion in revenue during the 2018 calendar year.
Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley said, “This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets.”
He added, “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 deal is expected to be completed by February 2020.
The new acquisition comes after Allen acquired on Friday the Bayou City Broadcasting Evansville and Bayou City Broadcasting Lafayette station groups for $165 million, Deadline writes.
Last March, Allen purchased the Weather Channel basic cable TV network from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast/NBCUniversal for a reported $300 million.