Gray-Raycom deal powers massive M&A in $5B quarter for broadcast TV: Kagan

A bar chart showing positive business growth
Excluding the Sinclair spinoffs and Gray's deal for Raycom, the total deal volume would have been the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2016. (Getty/NicoElNino)

Thanks largely to Gray Television’s $3.8 billion deal for Raycom Media, broadcast television M&A enjoyed its busiest quarter since 2007, according to S&P Global’s Kagan.

The firm tracked $5.1 billion in total M&A for the U.S. broadcast sector, and the majority of that stemmed from TV deals. Most of the M&A activity was tied to Gray’s deal, which Kagan valued at $3.44 billion. That total makes it the eighth-largest U.S. TV station deal of all time and the largest since last year's merger of Tribune Media Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group, according to the firm.

Most of the other broadcast TV M&A originated from Sinclair’s various spinoffs carried out to win regulatory approval for its $3.9 billion Tribune deal. Sinclair sold a station in March for $60 million, and 22 more stations were sold to five different buyers in April and May to meet FCC ownership caps. Kagan estimates those five deals are worth a total of $1.48 billion.

WHITEPAPER

How To Lower the Cost of Ownership of Your Cable Access Network

This white paper presents a cost analysis of a virtualized cable modem termination system (CMTS) deployed in a distributed access architecture (DAA). Learn how to eliminate traditional CMTS constraints, efficiently enhance your network performance and more.

RELATED: Broadcast TV M&A volume slumps during Q1: Kagan

Twenty-First Century Fox bought seven stations for $910 million, Standard Media Group bought nine stations for $441.7 million, Meredith bought one station for $65 million, Howard Stirk Holdings bought three stations for $4.95 million, and two licenses were transferred to local marketing agreement partner Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation for $60 million.

“Aside from those few large deals, the deal market displayed a rather slow pace. Excluding the Sinclair spin-offs and Gray's deal for Raycom, the total deal volume would have been the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2016, amounting to just $185.8 million,” Kagan said.

Also of note during the quarter was Gray's $32.5 million purchase of KDLT-TV in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from Red River Broadcast, and the $11.5 million sale of WMDE-DT in Washington, D.C., from Western Pacific Broadcast to WRNN-TV Associates.

Suggested Articles

WarnerMedia scored a key HBO Max distribution deal with Comcast just as it launched in May. Nearly six months later, there still isn’t an app.

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s recently launched streaming video service, is rolling out 20% discounts on annual Premium subscriptions for Black Friday.

How can we defend ourselves? Mostly, it’s a matter of common sense.