Broadcast TV station deals topped $5 billion in 2017, about even with the year before and dominated by Sinclair Broadcast Group’s pending $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media, according to researcher Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Total television station mergers & acquisitions activity was $5.03 billion in 2017, compared to $5.3 billion in 2016, Kagan said. The Sinclair-Tribune merger was announced in May and accounted for about 75% of the TV deal volume for the year.
The year ended on a high note, with a handful of station deals valued at more than $500 million announced in the waning months of the fourth quarter, including Tegna’s $325 million purchase of Midwest Television Inc.’s stations in the San Diego market and NBC Universal’s Telemundo Station Group's agreement to purchase 13 TV stations from ZGS Communications for an estimated $75 million in December. In November HC2 Holdings announced it would acquire the Azteca America network from TV Azteca SAB de CV, a deal that includes an agreement with Northstar Media LLC, the biggest licensee of Azteca affiliates, to take over the licenses of 19 stations. Kagan estimated a value of $33.0 million for the station group.