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US: Sinclair to buy 21 Disney Sports networks worth over $10bn

 |  May 5, 2019

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the American telecommunications giant, has reportedly reached a deal worth over $10 billion in order to purchase as many as 21 regional sports networks from the entertainment conglomerate, The Walt Disney Company.

The latest deal is reported to be including sports channels in Detroit and Los Angeles. Sources with the knowledge of the matter revealed that Disney had acquired the sports networks as a part of the company’s acquisition of the film & television assets of Twenty-First Century Fox for $71 billion. Sources further cited that the company agreed to sell the networks following an order from the US Justice Department, which said Disney must divest all of the Fox networks that provide sports programming for local and regional markets.

Reportedly, Disney, which also holds the cable sports network ESPN, sold Fox’s film & television assets in March, which was almost a year after the company came out victorious in a bidding war against the US-based cable company Comcast. As per a report by Fox Business Network, Sinclair had won the auction for the channels, which also drew interest from Liberty Media Corporation, as well as Big3, which is an upstart basketball league operated by actor-cum-rapper Ice Cube and a Hollywood businessman Jeff Kwatinetz.

It has also been reported that the auction for Fox Sports channels was initiated last year. However, there did not occur any hoped-for frenzied bidding war, given that the major entertainment companies including AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, Comcast Corporation and even Fox Corp. were on the sidelines.

Full Content: New York Times

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