Broadcast television station M&A neared USD 9 billion in 2018, according to Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence, an 8 percent increase over the prior year.
Topping the list of deals is Nexstar’s pending purchase of Tribune Media, a transaction that will create a 216-station powerhouse. The deal, which also includes Tribune’s WGN America cable network, stakes in Food Network and the Chicago Cubs and more than USD 2 billion in debt, has been valued at about USD 6.4 billion. Kagan estimated the broadcast portion of the deal to be worth about USD 3.5 billion.
Next was Gray TV’s purchase of Raycom Media, completed on Jan. 2. Kagan valued the broadcast portion of that USD 3.6 billion deal at about USD 3.4 billion.
Other station deals include Cordillera Communications’ sale of 15 full-power and 8 low-power stations to E.W. Scripps Co. for USD 521.0 million; Quincy Media’s purchase of Cordillera’s NBC affiliate in Tucson, Ariz. (KVOA) for USD 70 million and its ABC affiliate in Paducah, Ky.-Cape Girardeau, Mo.-Harrisburg-Mt. Vernon, Ill. (WSIL-TV) for USD 24.5 million; and E.W. Scripps’ purchase of independent TV station WHDT in West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Fla., from Marksteiner AG Inc. for USD 25 million.— Broadcasting & Cable