Tegna said it agreed to acquire Justice Network and Quest from Cooper Media, paying about $77 million for the 85% of the networks that it doesn’t already own.
The transaction values to digital multicast networks at $81 million.
The networks reach 87 million U.S T.V. homes and give Tegna a national outlet.
“Consumer viewing habits are shifting toward over-the-air consumption supplemented by inexpensive over-the-top services,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, Tegna. “Justice and Quest allow us to fully capitalize on the growth in over-the-air television audiences, which has increased by more than 48% over the past eight years.”
Justice Network launched in 2015. Quest went on the air last year and features science, history, and adventure-reality series.
Tegna will finance the transaction through the use of available cash and borrowing under its existing credit facility.
“It has been an honor to work with Tegna to build Justice Network and Quest from the ground up, while informing and entertaining the growing over-the-air audience,” said Lonnie Cooper, chairman of Cooper Holdings. “The timing is right for Cooper Holdings to focus on its core agency businesses, while cheering on the networks’ continued success as part of the Tegna family.”