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Broadcasting giant acquires regional sports channels

Sports fans in California and across the country are often particularly fond of their local teams. This is one reason why Fox Sports has run 21 regional networks across the country. Now, Sinclair Broadcast Group has completed the acquisition of the stations from the Walt Disney Co. The purchase of the regional sports channels marks the single largest acquisition in the history of Sinclair, the massive broadcasting company. The company is the largest single owner and operator of local TV stations across the country under a variety of banners. The purchase was announced in May 2019 but was closed in August after the Department of Justice granted its approval to the transaction.

The purchase price for the 21 stations was $9.6 billion. With the acquisition, Sinclair goes from being a major name in news and other regional channels to becoming a major player in the sports field. The management team for Fox Sports' regional networks also moved over to Sinclair with the acquisition of the channels. The stations were sold by Disney shortly after the company purchased 21st Century Fox for $71 billion in March 2019 when the Justice Department required the entertainment giant to sell off the networks.

The networks have a significant amount of broadcasting rights in multiple local markets. They have exclusive local rights to 42 different pro sports teams, including 12 NHL teams, 16 NBA teams and 14 MLB teams. The purchase comes as Sinclair is looking to expand its sports involvement overall. The company also owns the Tennis Channel and is planning to launch the Marquee Sports Network in 2020.

Mergers and acquisitions can be essential to business growth and the development of new forms of revenue. Business owners considering building their companies by buying or selling a business may consult with an attorney for advice throughout the process.

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