Sin­clair nears Tri­bune deal af­ter FCC changes law

New Straits Times - - Business -

NEW YORK: Sin­clair Broad­cast Group is close to buy­ing Tri­bune Me­dia, a deal made pos­si­ble af­ter the Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (FCC0 voted last month to ease lim­its on TV-sta­tion own­er­ship in the United States.

Sin­clair would pay about US$45 (RM195) a share, or about US$4 bil­lion, for the Chicagob­ased broad­cast­ing com­pany. Tri­bune’s clos­ing price on Fri­day was US$40.29, giving it a mar­ket value of US$3.5 bil­lion.

The ac­qui­si­tion of Tri­bune would give Sin­clair TV sta­tions in big me­dia mar­kets like New York, Chicago and Mi­ami, strength­en­ing its hand in ne­go­ti­a­tions with pay-TV distrib­u­tors and ma­jor broad­cast net­works.

The larger scale also would help the com­bined com­pany face down on­line com­peti­tors vy­ing for a piece of the advertising pie.

A po­ten­tial mar­riage of two of the largest lo­cal TV sta­tion own­ers in the US was made eas­ier last month when the FCC re­stored a rule that al­lows TV sta­tion groups to count just half of their cov­er­age area for Ul­tra High Fre­quency sta­tions to com­ply with a 39 per cent na­tion­wide cap set by Congress. Bloomberg

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