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Sep. 21, 2015, 3:36 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +0.6%), the nation's biggest local broadcaster, has held talks to acquire the Tennis Channel, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Sinclair has engaged in multiple rounds of talks with the various private-equity owners of the network, which include Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital Ventures. DirecTV (NYSE:T) and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) also have small stakes.
- The ownership is seeking a healthy premium, asking $500M or more for the Tennis Channel.
- It would be a bid for more content by Sinclair, which is dependent on the big four broadcasters for much of what it puts on TV.
Sep. 10, 2015, 3:40 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI), the nation's biggest local broadcaster, has created a post for VP of operations, and named Jerry Lilly to fill it.
- He'll be responsible for streamlining operations and technologies and for managing tech and infrastructure to support news, production and master control at the company -- a task which may get more complicated if the company puts spectrum into the FCC's broadcast incentive auction.
- Lilly was most recently at JDESICS, where he served as founder and chief technical architect, and prior to that built out field bureaus during 16 years at CNN.
- Previously: Sinclair Broadcast Group -4% after earnings; could see $2B in FCC auction (Aug. 05 2015)
Sep. 3, 2015, 4:20 PM
- ONE Media, a joint venture of Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) with Coherent Logix, has gotten temporary authority from the FCC to test an experimental single-frequency network that could point to a next-generation broadcast platform.
- The company will test the network in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., using base elements of the newest ATSC 3.0 transmission standard. New capabilities to be tested include transmitting separate program elements using the same channel in two adjacent markets, and "zoning" programming and ads to discrete parts of a station's market along the same channel.
- A next-gen platform is considered important for the broadcast industry to stay competitive with competing technologies after next year's broadcast incentive spectrum auction, and amid an environment of crowded frequencies.
- Separately, Sinclair filed an 8-K showing it's bumped a "longevity bonus" for its general counsel, Barry Faber, to $3M from $2.5M, since he's chosen to defer almost all of it until retirement. Faber is entitled to the bonus if he's continuously employed through Sept. 3, 2016.
Aug. 31, 2015, 2:29 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +1%) has named three new vice presidents in a wave of promotions.
- Kevin Cotlove has been named VP of Digital Operations and Content; Ryan Moore was promoted to VP of Digital Sales; Ben Miller was named VP of Product Development.
- The three, COO Rob Weisbord says, were instrumental in "creating a multi-screen culture" at Sinclair. The company recently built and launched a modern content management system, and along with it a new Web template.
Aug. 26, 2015, 6:45 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) say they've reached agreement on terms in a dispute over retransmission that resulted in a significant blackout.
- The companies have set another two-week extension in order to fully document the deal, but this time it looks like they are in accord. A previous extension resulted in a large blackout yesterday that drew the attention of the FCC.
- "We are pleased to announce that we were able to come to an agreement in principal with DISH, and we regret any inconvenience that was caused to the DISH subscribers as a result of the short blackout," said Sinclair's chief negotiator, General Counsel Barry Faber.
- Today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler ordered the two to an emergency meeting to address the dispute.
- "We are grateful for the FCC's work on behalf of consumers to actively broker a productive path forward," said Jeff Blum, Dish Network's deputy general counsel.
- Statement by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
- In after-hours action: DISH flat; SBGI inactive.
- Previously: Dish, Sinclair avoid blackout with contract extension (Aug. 16 2015)
Aug. 26, 2015, 2:09 PM
- The FCC has called an emergency meeting to address a channel blackout on Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) of stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI -0.5%), the result of an ongoing carriage fight.
- It's no small disruption this time, as 129 local stations in 79 different markets are affected. Sinclair is the largest local broadcaster in the country.
- Though the two averted a midnight deadline Aug. 15 with a short-term peace, stations went dark yesterday afternoon. Dish has accused Sinclair of negotiating in bad faith, and that the key fight is over terms for an unidentified channel that Sinclair "hopes to acquire, but does not even own today."
- For its part, Sinclair said it is willing to negotiate so long as Dish "was not simply asserting take it or leave it positions."
- "We will not stand idly by while millions of consumers in 79 markets across the country are being denied access to local programming," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. "The commission will always act within the scope of its authority if it emerges that improper conduct is preventing a commercial resolution of the dispute."
Aug. 16, 2015, 10:27 AM
- Easing a standoff that threatened access to local TV channels, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) have agreed on a short-term retransmission contract extension as they negotiate an agreement to replace the current accord.
- Dish has also asked the FCC to stay action on its complaint filed Saturday, which stated the latter violated good faith negotiation requirements and threatened "the largest local channel blackout in retransmission history."
- Previously: Dish files FCC complaint as Sinclair station blackout looms (Aug. 15 2015)
Aug. 15, 2015, 1:05 PM
- Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) has has complained to the FCC about Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI), saying that Sinclair, the nation's biggest local broadcaster, is negotiating in bad faith and threatening "the largest local channel blackout in retransmission consent history."
- Dish says that Sinclair won't negotiate retransmission (for 153 local channels in 79 markets) unless Dish lets Sinclair negotiate for 32 stations Sinclair doesn't control in the same markets.
- For its part, Dish is asking the FCC to block the blackout (set for midnight tonight) while the agency reviews its complaint.
Aug. 5, 2015, 7:34 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) closed down 4% today after a Q2 report where it beat expectations across the board.
- CEO David Smith pointed to higher retransmission fees and favorable costs. "We continue to make significant progress with regard to content initiatives and distribution rights, particularly in the areas of sports and first-run programming."
- In its earnings call today, COO David Amy suggested the company could realize up to $2B if it puts spectrum into the FCC's upcoming broadcast incentive auction, without ill effects to its participation in the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard.
- He acknowledged that's dependent on many auction variables, many of which the FCC will vote on tomorrow.
- The company guided to Q3 net broadcast revenues to be $483.3M-$486.5M (up 7.9%-8.6% Y/Y). That includes $7.2M expected in political revenues compared to the prior year's $33.8M.
Aug. 5, 2015, 7:43 AM
- Sinclair Broadcast (NASDAQ:SBGI) declares $0.165/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 2.31%
- Payable Sept. 15; for shareholders of record Sept. 1; ex-div Aug. 28.
Aug. 5, 2015, 7:32 AM
- Sinclair Broadcast (NASDAQ:SBGI): Q2 EPS of $0.48 beats by $0.11.
- Revenue of $554.2M (+21.8% Y/Y) beats by $12.19M.
Aug. 4, 2015, 5:30 PM
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Jul. 20, 2015, 3:25 PM
- The FCC is pointing to March 29 -- very late in Chairman Tom Wheeler's Q1 2016 target -- to begin its incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast airwaves, according to a list of agenda items it's circulating.
- Observers had worried that a postponement of voting on auction rules until Aug. 6 would endanger the Q1 plan. The FCC had delayed the final vote so that stakeholders could submit filings on the rules, with the "duplex gap" a particular point of contention.
- The exact start date is still subject to change before the final FCC vote.
- Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC
- Previously: FCC delays rules vote for broadcast spectrum auction (Jul. 15 2015)
Jul. 16, 2015, 7:45 PM
- After the past year's detailed negotiations with affiliates to get on board CBS All Access, the streaming service has built some significant recent momentum.
- The service is available in 124 markets -- about 75% of the country -- due to participation from about 40 affiliate groups added on to CBS-owned stations. (The live local offering is available in 59 markets reaching a little more than half the country; other markets still have 7,000 episodes on demand.)
- Recent deals with Media General (NYSE:MEG), Scripps (NYSE:SSP), and Sinclair (NASDAQ:SBGI), among others, will bring CBS All Access to markets including Portland, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Cincinnati, among others.
Jul. 9, 2015, 3:16 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +2.1%) has reached a long-term affiliation deal with the CW Network (TWX, CBS) covering 32 stations.
- The deal covers 23 owned stations and nine others for which Sinclair provides services. Sinclair, the nation's largest local broadcaster, is the group with the most CW stations.
- Earlier, Sinclair renegotiated affiliate deals with CBS for 16 markets.
- Today: TWX +1.7%; CBS +0.2%.
Jul. 9, 2015, 1:13 PM
- CBS and Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) -- the largest local broadcaster -- have renewed affiliation agreements in 16 markets, the companies said.
- The deals cover 6% of the country, serving about 7M households.
- "The long-term renewed agreements include all of our CBS affiliations expiring in 2015, as well as an early renewal of all agreements expiring in 2016," notes Sinclair's Barry Faber, who adds that the visiblity into programming costs will help Sinclair price its retransmission rights.
- SBGI is up 1.2% today.
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