Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) has completed its acquisition of the equity interests in 21 regional sports networks, including Fox Sports Indiana, from Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) in a deal valued at approximately $10 billion. The U.S. Department of Justice required Disney to divest the sports networks when it purchased Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. in a $71 billion deal.
"We are very excited about the transformational aspects the RSN acquisition will have on Sinclair and are eager to bring those opportunities to life,” said Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair.
Disney and 21st Century Fox entered into a consent decree with the DOJ that allowed Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox to proceed while requiring the sale of the RSNs.
SBG says it acquired the sports TV properties through a newly formed, indirect wholly owned subsidiary called Diamond Sports Group LLC, in which Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen becomes an equity and content partner.
Last month, Allen’s company received approval from the FCC to complete its purchase of two Evansville television stations.
The RSN portfolio has exclusive local telecasting rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams, and 12 NHL teams.