Gray Television announced Wednesday that it is buying KDLT-TV, the NBC affiliate for the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from Red River Broadcasting for $32.5 million.
Gray anticipates that the acquisition will be immediately free cash flow accretive and will close in the second or third quarter of 2018. Gray plans to finance the transaction with cash on hand.
The company pointed out that its new acquisition follows a string of other investments in South Dakota. In 2016 KSFY-TV moved into a new facility in downtown Sioux Falls. Earlier this year, Gray opened a remodeled and expanded building in Rapid City to bring new technology to its ABC and Fox affiliates in that market, KOTA-TV and KEVN-LP.
Last year, Gray bought CBS affiliate WCAX-TV, which covers the Burlington, Vermont/Plattsburgh, New York, market, from Mt. Mansfield Television for $29 million. It also paid $85 million to acquire two television stations from Diversified Communications: CBS affiliate WABI in Bangor, Maine, and ABC affiliate WCJB in Gainesville, Florida.
Gray Television CEO Hilton Howell said that growth strategy, which focuses on state capitals and other areas with strong ties to government, will continue this year.
“We’re continuing to expand with a strategic focus on providing value to our audiences. We’re poised to scale our growth and are striving to build one of the most robust networks in the business,” Howell said.