Nexstar Deal Dominates 1Q Station Sales Activity

Incentive auctions to curtail transactions
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TV station merger and acquisition activity in the first quarter was $4.7 billion, nearly all of that attributable to Nexstar’s agreement to purchase Media General in January, according to SNL Kagan.

The Nexstar deal was worth $4.6 billion — the fourth-largest TV deal in U.S. history — and the rest of the activity came in a handful of smaller transactions.

Kagan says that because of FCC incentive auction quiet period, which began on Jan. 12, station M&A will be quiet. The FCC will not approve any applications for broadcast transactions involving full-power or Class A stations until the auction runs its course, which could take six to nine month.

Radio station sales volume was $98.5 million, which was the lowest since the first quarter of 2012.

Related: Timeline of Nexstar's Growth in Acquisitions

Kagan notes that with CBS putting its radio assets on the block, that market could heat up.

The top radio deal in the first quarter was the $10 million sale of KUHA-FM, a non-commercial station in the Houston-Galveston, Tex., market

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