Nexstar, American media group, is ready to become the largest local TV stations operator in the country following a deal to purchase Tribune Media for around $4.1 billion. This deal comes 3 months after failure of Tribune’s sale to Sinclair Group because of regulatory hurdles. Sinclair Group is presently the largest local TV operator in US. Although complete details were supposed to be revealed on Monday, reports about the deal came around on Sunday. The 42 TV stations under Tribune reach about 50 million homes. This Chicago-based firm owns WGN America, the national entertainment cable network, which reaches over 70 million homes and many websites too. It further has a stake in the Food Network.
Irving, Texas-based Nexstar owns, operates and provides services like sales to 174 TV stations which reach almost 39% of all American TV households. Disclosing the deal, Reuters added that Apollo Global Management, American private equity, was also talking terms of sale with Tribune. Emerging from bankruptcy in late-2012, Tribune completed newspaper assets spinoff in 2014.
Tribune and Sinclair’s deal fell through of FCC, Federal Communications Commission, because of promises about divesting TV stations. The regulator accused Sinclair of not disclosing all facts regarding the sale fully. US President Donald Trump posted on Twitter in July that the deal between Sinclair Group and Tribune Media would have been a great move and the fact that it did not see the light of the day is a sad and unfortunate affair. Many of the television broadcasts by Sinclair stations are considered to be politically conservative.
More such television broadcasting deals can be expected as private company Cox Enterprises made announcements in July about its consideration of potential sales of TV broadcasting stations in cities like Memphis, Boston and Atlanta. It is also being thought that Sinclair Group is in pursuit of additional deals after its partnership with CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, to bid for regional sports networks which 21st Century Fox will be selling after its deal of merging most of its assets with Walt Disney comes through.