US broadcast M&A reaches new heights

US broadcast station mergers and acquisitions (M&A) raised US$5.11 billion in the second quarter of 2018 with over $5.01 billion attributed to TV station sales, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

This is the largest quarterly deal volume since the second quarter of 2007, according to the research group.

The news arrives as consolidation of major networks and studios continues to rise, as we’ve seen with AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner and a possible Disney acquisition of Fox assets.

Gray Television’s acquisition of Raycom Media for US$3.65 billion was one of the major drivers contributing to the comparatively high quarterly figure.Raycom owns the licenses for 49 full-power and eight low-power TV stations and provides programming for an additional 14 stations.

“We estimate the value of the TV stations at $3.44 billion, making this the eighth-largest US TV station deal of all time and the largest since last year’s merger of Tribune Media Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.,” said S&P.

Other large TV transactions were Gray Television’s US$32.5 million purchase of KDLT-TV from Red River Broadcast Company and the US$11.5 million sale of WMDE-DT in Washington, D.C., from Western Pacific Broadcast LLC to WRNN-TV Associates LP.

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