Giant TV station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group tried to acquire the Tennis Channel and diversify in to the cable business, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
When Sinclair was in a retransmission dispute with Dish Network, Dish claimed that Sinclair was seeking to set the carriage fees for a cable network it might buy. It was unclear at the time which cable network Sinclair was seeking.
Tennis Channel is owned by a private equity firms including Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital Ventures. They have been considering selling the channel for a while, according to the WSJ report, but at $500 million, finding a buyer hasn’t been easy.
Dish and DirecTV also acquired stakes in Tennis Channel as part of early carriage deals.
Tennis Channel is in just 35 million homes. It could use the help of a bigger media company to boost its distribution.
It is also being overshadowed on cable by ESPN, which has been snapping up the rights to major tennis events, including the recently concluded U.S. Open.