ACA Connects Opposes Sinclair-Disney RSN Deal

PITTSBURGH—ACA Connects isn’t a fan of the recently announced deal that would see Sinclair Broadcast Group acquire 21 regional sports networks from Disney-Fox. It’s opposition centers around the same reason it opposed the eventually scrapped deal between Sinclair and Tribune—the possibility that Sinclair would raise prices to consumers, including those served by ACA Connects.

“Big 4 broadcast network programming and RSN programming are both critical for ACA Connects members,” said ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew Polka in a statement. “By jointly negotiating these assets when they serve the same market, Sinclair can raise prices to cable operators for both offerings.”

The deal with Disney would see Sinclair take over 21 RSNs and Fox College Sports, including the rights to 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams and 12 NHL teams.

The deal does not contain any licenses, so is not subject to review by the FCC, but it will be looked at by the Department of Justice for any antitrust issues. Sinclair already owns Marquee Sports Network, the Tennis Channel, Stadium, Ring of Honor Wrestling and some high school sports programming.

News as a result of the announced deal caused Sinclair’s stock to go up more than 30% on Monday, May 6.

Ultimately, Polka believes that antitrust regulators will reject the proposed deal between Sinclair and Disney.