Conservative Media Group Emerges As Frontrunner to Buy Fox Regional Sports Networks

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According to reports, Sinclair Broadcasting Group has reached a “handshake agreement” to buy the Fox Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), for $10 billion.

The conservative-leaning media network was an early bidder for the networks but dropped out for a long period only to jump back in at the last minute with a reported ten billion-dollar bid, according to Charles Gasparino of Fox Business.

“Sources say @Disney has reached a ‘handshake agreement’ with @WeAreSinclair over Fox RSN purchase; deal being finalized; Sinclair has said it will pay up to $10b for 21 Fox RSNs if another bidder doesn’t emerge. minority partners include @blackstone more now,” Gasparino tweeted on Friday.

The deal is only at “handshake” stage because a series of hurdles would still have to be jumped to finalize the deal, including getting approval from federal regulators.

Federal approval is not automatic, though. Sinclair recently found its deal to merge with Tribune Corp. scratched by the feds who feared it would have consolidated too many media markets under Sinclair.

Sinclair is already a big player for ownership of smaller sports networks across the nation and that large stake will only grow with the inclusion of the Fox RSNs, Awful Announcing noted. The move could cause federal regulators to nix the deal.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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