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Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI) Buys WHAM-TV (ABC) In Rochester, New York; Closes TV Stations Purchase

 December 03, 2012 01:36 PM

(By Balaseshan) Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI) said it has bought WHAM-TV (ABC) in Rochester, New York from Newport Television LLC and completed the acquisitions of certain television stations.

Sinclair acquired the non-license assets of Newport's station, WHAM-TV (ABC) for $54.0 million plus the option for the license assets. Sinclair will provide sales and other non-programming services pursuant to a shared service and joint sales agreement.

The stations acquired in the transactions that have closed, effective December 1, 2012, are: WTTA (MNT) Tampa, Florida previously operated by Sinclair pursuant to a local marketing agreement; and KBTV (FOX) Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas market previously owned by Nexstar Broadcasting.

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The following stations from Newport: WKRC (CBS) Cincinnati, Ohio; WOAI (NBC) San Antonio, Texas; WHP (CBS) Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York, Pennsylvania; WPMI (NBC) and WJTC (IND) Mobile, Alabama; KSAS (FOX) Wichita/Hutchinson, Kansas; and WHAM (ABC) Rochester, New York.

Sinclair also acquired Newport's rights under the local marketing agreements with WLYH (CW) in Harrisburg, PA and KMTW (MNT) in Wichita, KS, as well as options to acquire the license assets.

The company also closed on agreements with Deerfield Media Inc., selling Deerfield the license assets of Sinclair's station in San Antonio (KMYS CW), and Sinclair's station in Cincinnati (WSTR MY), as well as the license assets of WPMI and WJTC in the Mobile/Pensacola market and KBTV in Beaumont. Sinclair will provide sales and other non-programming services to each of these five stations pursuant to shared services and joint sales agreements.

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The acquisitions add two new markets and additional stations in four markets where Sinclair already has a presence. The net amount paid at closing, net of any previously paid deposits and sale proceeds, was $459.7 million, which was funded by the issuance of $500 million of 6.125% senior notes due 2022 earlier this quarter.

Sinclair Broadcast, which is diversified television broadcasting company, owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 84 television stations in 46 markets. Sinclair's television portfolio includes 22 FOX, 20 MNT, 15 CW, 11 ABC, 11 CBS, 3 NBC, 1 independent and 1 Azteca station.

SBGI is trading down 1.09% at $10.91 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $7.82 and $13.40 for the past 52 weeks.

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