The Maryland-based brand made the acquisition about a year after the U.S. Department of Justice signed an order that required Disney to sell off 22 Fox regional sports networks. The move was part of a provision of the company’s Fox deal, and Disney was able to unload all of these.
The Wall Street Journal noted that the deal for 21 channels will cost Sinclair $10 billion, which is a considerable discount when compared to the price tag prediction in the $15 billion to $25 billion range that many analysts predicted Disney may get. Some even saw the channels as being worth up to $25 billion.
Sinclair has made some big sports moves recently as back in March, the company joined Blackstone and Amazon to back the New York Yankees in their $3 billion bid to repurchase about 80% of the YES Network the franchise sold to Fox back in 2014. YES Network was the 22nd channel from the Fox portfolio, as well as the most valuable one.
In February, the company also teamed up with the Chicago Cubs to build a new RSN in Chicago, slated to be called Marquee Sports Network. This channel will begin airing all local Cubs games beginning in 2020.
SBGI stock is up about 2.3% on Friday afternoon following the company’s acquisition. DIS stock surged roughly 0.3% today.