Disney is believed to still be finalizing the terms of the sale of its majority interest in the YES Network, which carries New York Yankee games in the team's hometown market, to the team (which already owns the remaining stake) and Sinclair.
The acquisitions add to a growing sports portfolio for Sinclair, which earlier this year announced a partnership with the Chicago Cubs to form a new regional sports network, Marquee Sports Network.
The company promised to divest 21 Century Fox's regional U.S. sports channels as a condition for regulatory approval of the deal. Mr. Allen, who bought The Weather Channel in 2018, is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Entertainment Studios, a global media, content and technology company.
"This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets", said Chris Ripley, president- CEO of Sinclair.
The company agreed to sell the networks after the U.S. Justice Department said Disney, which owns cable sports network ESPN, must divest the Fox networks that provide sports programming for regional and local markets. "We also see this as an opportunity to realize cross-promotional collaboration, and synergistic benefits related to programming and production".
Sinclair has been one of the broadcast industry's most acquisitive companies for years, but this would mark a new direction. Trump publicly supported Sinclair's attempted $3.9 billion merger with Tribune Media, and when the FCC did not approve the deal, Trump called it "sad and unfair".
Tuna Amobi, equity analyst at CRFA Research, maintained a "strong buy" rating on both Sinclair's and Disney's stock. The remainder of the purchase price is being funded by $8.2 billion of fully committed secured and unsecured debt incurred by Diamond.
The largest United States local television operator, Sinclair owns or provides services to some 191 stations.