Sinclair, 120 Sports launching new linear sports network

The companies will merge 120 Sports’ live studio operations, Silver Chalice’s Campus Insiders’ live collegiate games and Sinclair’s American Sports Network’s (ASN) distribution and live collegiate games. (120 Sports)

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Silver Chalice and 120 Sports are launching a new multiplatform sports network with linear broadcast and digital offerings.

The companies will merge 120 Sports’ live studio operations, Silver Chalice’s Campus Insiders’ live collegiate games and Sinclair’s American Sports Network’s (ASN) distribution and live collegiate games. The companies intend to use the professional and collegiate rights from 120 Sports and Silver Chalice to increase access to post-game highlights, news, original long-form programming and full game archives provided by various partners.

Sinclair’s ASN will be rebranded and improved, according to a news release.

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The broadcast component of the unified network will launch later this year and reach millions of homes on Sinclair-owned multicast channels, both over the air and through carriage by MVPDs.

“With this incomparable set of strategic partners, we are evolving ASN into a vastly improved network with access to exclusive content and a combined linear and premium OTT offering that is the model for the future of television,” said Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair, in a statement.

The companies plan to announce in the coming weeks a full programming schedule, new product offerings, network branding, distribution partners, sponsors and studio details.

RELATED: Sinclair begins launch of millennial-targeted network TBD

For Sinclair, the upcoming rebrand of ASN follows other moves the broadcaster has made recently regarding the launch of new linear channels. Last month, Sinclair began the official rollout of TBD, its new channel focused on digital-first content tailored for millennial audiences.

“Our recent focus has been on expanding our business with new digital multicast networks that leverage our broadcast spectrum and household reach,” said Ripley in a statement. “Much of the multicast market today focuses on classic TV and movie content, with little aimed at audiences for whom fresh and relevant pop culture content is important. With the launch of TBD, we aim to pair the very best premium digital-first content with the unmatched branding power of traditional television.”

Sinclair also recently launched sci-fi centered multicast network Comet TV.

Meanwhile, the large broadcast group is also reportedly looking into buying Tribune Media’s assets. Last month, Sinclair was linked to reports surrounding a deal for about $40 to $41 per share that would include all 42 Tribune TV stations and Tribune’s stakes in the Food Network and WGN.

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