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Report: Sinclair makes offer for NBC RSNs

Successful acquisition would add major markets to portfolio of local broadcasters.

6 July 2021 Tom Bassam
  • Deadline for first round bids closed on 28th June
  • Sinclair looking to gain more leverage in carriage talks with cable firms, according to the NY Post

US media giant Sinclair is in the running to acquire NBCUniversal’s seven regional sports networks (RSNs), according to the New York Post.

No fee has been reported, but if the bid comes out on top it would bolster the already vast portfolio of RSNs that Sinclair acquired from Disney for US$10.6 billion in 2019 and rebranded under the Bally Sports moniker this year.

The addition of NBC’s unwanted local stations would also add a host of National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises in the major US markets of Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, and San Francisco.

The sale of NBC’s RSNs reportedly includes an eight per cent stake in SportsNet New York, the local broadcaster for MLB’s New York Mets.

US media reports in May first suggested that the Comcast-owned media company was open to selling off its RSNs as it moves away from legacy distribution, with the deadline for first round bids having passed on 28th June.

For Sinclair, according to the Post, the desire to add those markets to its local portfolio may be part of a strategy to gain more leverage when negotiating carriage deals with cable companies.

Sinclair is exploring a direct-to-consumer (DTC) product launch for its RSN content next year and was recently reported to be seeking US$250 million to fund that endeavour.

Sinclair is in the running to acquire NBCUniversal’s seven regional sports networks

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