Fox Sports Detroit, the local broadcast partner of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, and Detroit Pistons, is one of 21 Walt Disney Co.-owned regional sports networks purchased by the Sinclair Broadcast Group for $9.6 billion.
In addition to the regional networks, Sinclair also picked up Fox College Sports. Disney acquired the networks in its purchase of 21st Century Fox but were required to sell the regional sports networks as a condition of the approval of the deal by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The portfolio of RSNs acquired by Sinclair in the deal closed on Friday, is the largest collection of local sports networks in the marketplace today. Its networks hold exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball teams, 16 National Basketball Association teams, and 12 National Hockey League teams.
“We are very excited about the transformational aspects the RSN acquisition will have on Sinclair and are eager to bring those opportunities to life,” says Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair. “We welcome Jeff Krolik, president of the RSNs, and the rest of the RSN management team and staff to the Sinclair family. We have an exciting future ahead of us.”
The RSNs were acquired via a newly formed, indirect subsidiary of Sinclair called Diamond Sports Group.
Byron Allen – a former comedian, television producer, philanthropist, and the founder, owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of the U.S. television production company Entertainment Studios – has become an equity and content partner in Diamond.