Tribune is selling off 7 stations to 21st Century Fox ahead of the closing of Tribune’s proposed sale to Sinclair Broadcasting.
21st Century Fox, which has entered into a deal to sell itself to Disney, is buying the 7 stations for $910 million. Those stations will remain with a company called New Fox, once 21st Century Fox’s film and TV studios and entertainment cable networks are sold to Disney (assuming that deal goes through).
In the deal, Fox will now own Fox affiliate KCPQ in Seattle, which is home to the NFC’s Seattle Seahawks and WSFL in Miami, which is currently a CW affiliate. This could pose a challenge to Sunbeam-owned WSVN which has been home to Fox since 1989.
“This transaction illustrates Fox’s commitment to local broadcasting and we are pleased to add these stations to our existing portfolio,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations. “This expansion will further enrich our valuable alignments with the NFL, including our new Thursday Night Football rights, MLB and college sports assets,” said Abernethy. “We are also happy to add many talented Tribune employees to our group, some of whom we know well.”
Sinclair inked a plan to sell $1.5 billion of its assets in order to meet FCC ownership guidelines. The deal still needs DOJ and FCC approval as well as the approval of the D.C. Circuit Court.
Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino reported Tuesday that “the betting on Wall Street is against” the deal happening.
“The bottom line is, Wall Street is basically saying, based on what they’re hearing from the court, they’re not going to allow it, the FCC and DOJ can’t move quick enough to get this through, therefore, the deal is likely to get quashed,” Gasparino reported.