Former comedian and now media mogul, Byron Allen has just acquired 4 more networks to his entertainment portfolio. It was made public on this past Friday, that Byron Allen teamed up with the Sinclair Broadcast Group to be a minority investor to purchase over 20 regional FOX sports networks from Walt Disney. Allen's portion of the deal will give him ownership of 4 stations from Bayou City Broadcasting. His stake in the deal is $165 million. Allen will now have ownership of CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliates in the area.
Chris Ripley, CEO and president of Sinclair Broadcasting Group said of the deal, “This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets. While consumer viewing habits have shifted, the tradition of watching live sports and news remains ingrained in our culture.” With Allen, Sinclair created an indirect subsidiary within their organization with Byron To acquire the sports networks, Diamond Sports Group, LLC. The deal has an anticipated completion date of February 2020.
The entire deal is worth $71.3 billion deal with 21st Century Fox, for the 21 networks. Sinclair Broadcast Group outbid others including Ice Cube, Magic Johnson, Serena Williams, and LL Cool J. They were trying to get the deal done through Ice Cube's Big 3 leagues, but the financial support was not enough.
Allen said of Bayou City Broadcasting and the leadership, “DuJuan McCoy is an outstanding broadcaster and he has done a phenomenal job of assembling a strong management team to operate these network affiliate stations. This is another milestone for our company, as we have now agreed to purchase our very first broadcast television stations and continue to look for other opportunities to grow our global media company through strategic acquisitions.”
The acquisition of the 4 channels allows for Entertainment Studios to expand their reach beyond their current 160 million subscribers. Allen's company also has a film production and distribution departments as well.
This announcement follows Allen's historic acquisition of $300 million, when he purchased the Weather Channel and its attached streaming service, Local Now. Allen told Black Enterprise, “With that purchase, we were able to break the color barrier as the first general market cable network ever owned by an African American. I’ve always thought of business as a contact sport. I’m not going to play just in the Negro Leagues. I’m always going to play in the global leagues. And I want kids who look like me to not put themselves in a box. I want them to see what I do as a beacon.”