It seems the long-running sale of the former Fox regional sports networks has finally come to a conclusion, but without any further twists this time. Last Friday saw Charles Gasparino of Fox Business report that Disney had come to a “handshake agreement” to sell the RSNs to Sinclair for “up to $10 billion,” but that report included the caveat that the deal could be off if another bidder (likely the Liberty Media–MLB bid, but possibly the a debt-laden “for the culture” BIG3 bid) made a better offer. Well, it seems the RSNs are still going to Sinclair, with Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal reporting Thursday that they have now “struck a deal“:
TV-station giant Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has struck a deal valued at more than $10 billion to acquire 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co., according to people familiar with the matter.
The agreement is expected to be announced as early as Friday, the people said.
…Sinclair Broadcast has separately partnered with the New York Yankees to acquire the YES Network, another of the networks once controlled by Fox, in a deal valued at $3.45 billion, people close to that deal said. That sale, which hasn’t been finalized, also includes Amazon.com Inc. as a partner.
It sounds like Sinclair may be paying slightly more than initially reported (“more than $10 billion” versus “up to $10 billion”), which could signal an extra bid from another company they then matched or beat, a change in terms or something else.