Sinclair Takes $313 Million in Auction Proceeds

February 9, 2017
BALTIMORE—Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it expects to receive an estimated $313 million of gross proceeds from the TV spectrum incentive auction.  The results of the auction are not expected to produce any material change in operations or results for the company. The proceeds are expected to be received later this year.

Sinclair has the most TV stations of any group owner in the United States with 173, in 82 designated market areas (DMAs), broadcasting a total of 480 channels.

Sinclair follows Fox TV ($350 million), Tribune ($190 million), Gray ($91 million) and as of last night, Central Michigan University in Flint ($14 million), in announcing its expected haul from the TV spectrum incentive reverse auction, which concluded Friday, Jan. 13, with broadcasters asking for an aggregate $10 billion to clear 84 MHz of spectrum.

Sinclair’s announcement reflected that of the other commercial broadcasters who have announced results. Fox, Trib and Gray also said they anticipated no “material change in operations” due to the sale of spectrum, which indicates these groups will embrace channel sharing. Each owns multiple stations in a certain number of DMAs.

Gray has 64 call letter TV licenses with duopolies in No. 63 Lexington, Ky.; No. 75 Springfield, Mo.; No. 105 Lincoln, Neb.; No. 111, Augusta, Ga.; No. 192 Twin Falls, Idaho; No. 197, Scottsbluff, Neb.-Cheyenne, Wyo.; and triopolies in two: No. 209 North Platte, Neb.; and Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson-Williston, N.D.

Fox has 10 duopolies—six in top 10 markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Houston; and four more in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte, N.C.

Addendum: Tribune owns and/or operates 42 stations and has duops in Seattle, Denver, St.Louis, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Norfolk,Va.; New Orleans and Fort Smith, Ark. 

(TV Technology continues to sort through Sinclair’s holdings for duops and triops and will post them here when parsed, but in total, Sinclair has 31 single-station markets, 25 duop markets and 25 with three or more stations.)

Central Michigan University said it would end its public broadcast transmissions three months after the sale closes, according to The Detroit News, which also said a university spokeswoman noted that “99 percent of the viewers of the Flint station reside in areas that are served by other public broadcasting stations.”

For more TV Technology coverage, see our spectrum auction silo.

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