Fox Stations Has Through March to Move on Option With Sinclair
Sale of WUTB Baltimore may be first act of multi-part play
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/30/2012 3:52:15 PMWith Fox Television Stations agreeing to sell MyNetworkTV (MNT) O&O WUTB Baltimore to Deerfield Media, and Sinclair ironing out a shared services agreement with Deerfield, Fox has until the end of March to move on an acquisition option hammered out with Sinclair in May.
That pact, part of Sinclair's affiliation agreements with Fox, saw Sinclair pay a maximum of $52.7 million to Fox "associated with the Baltimore option and affiliation," which decreases by $25 million should Fox exercise its option to purchase Sinclair-owned stations in up to three markets: Raleigh (WRDC-WLFL, an MNT-CW combo), Las Vegas (KVMY-KVCW, also a MNT-CW pair), Cincinnati (MNT affiliate WSTR), and Norfolk (MNT affiliate WTVZ).
Fox's option expires March 31, 2013.
Caught off guard at the time by the announcement, the arrangement made owners and managers in those four markets fearful of losing their affiliation to Fox. Owners are Raycom, Meredith, LIN and Capitol.
The May arrangement ensured that Sinclair would retain its Fox affiliation at flagship WBFF Baltimore. "That was how we protected ourselves," says David Amy, Sinclair CFO. "That was the best solution we could come up with with Fox."
Amy said there was nothing to report in terms of Fox Television Stations negotiating to pick up Sinclair properties in the four agreed upon Sinclair markets.
A call to News Corp. about its intent in those markets was not returned at presstime.
Amy does not envision local news coming to WUTB. "We tried that with our CW [in Baltimore] and it didn't really work out," he said. "We're really focused on our news efforts with the Fox affiliate."
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more