U.S. broadcast station M&A volume reached $748.8 million in the fourth quarter and totaled $8.24 billion for 2017, according to S&P Global’s Kagan. Of that annual total, about $5 billion was attributed to television deals.
Of the $5.03 billion in total TV deals, Kagan said that Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.76 billion bid for Tribune Media accounted for 75%. During the fourth quarter, TV deal volume reached $500.5 million, with 65% of that from the top deal of the quarter, Tegna's $325 million acquisition of Midwest Television's stations in the San Diego market.
Other TV deals during the fourth quarter include NBCUniversal's Telemundo Station Group acquiring all stations of ZGS Communications for $75 million and HC2 Holdings acquiring the Azteca America network from affiliates of TV Azteca SAB de CV, a deal Kagan estimated is valued at $33 million and included an agreement with Northstar Media to take over the licenses of 19 stations.
Overall, TV M&A volume was down slightly from 2016, a year that saw Nexstar acquire Media General for $4.6 billion.
Although fourth-quarter TV M&A still only accounted for a small amount of the annual M&A totals for broadcast, it was a significantly higher total than the previous quarter.
Kagan said that all other TV deals during the third quarter clocked in at $6 million each or less, bringing the total quarterly TV deal volume to $66.6 million.