Broadcast Deals Topped $11B in Q1 2022

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NEW YORK—Kagan, the media research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence, has issued a new report finding that the broadcast deal market for first quarter 2022 hit $11.05 billion, the highest quarterly deal volume since third quarter 2019. 

In the last 40 years, quarterly volumes exceeded $10 billion only eight times, noted Volker Moerbitz, the lead analyst for this report. 

“Most of these mega-volumes were due to one large consolidation deal or privatization deal, and first quarter 2022 was no exception,” Moerbitz wrote. “Standard General LP in partnership with Apollo Global Inc., which owns a majority stake in Cox Media Group Inc., announced a $24-per-share deal on Feb. 22 that would take private Tegna Inc., the third-largest TV station owner by revenue and one of the few remaining publicly traded groups.”

Kagan estimates the value of Tegna’s 64 full power and three low-power TV stations at approximately $8.71 billion, making it the second-largest transaction in broadcast deal history, topped only by the $8.75 billion 1999 Viacom/CBS merger, Moerbitz noted. 

Moerbitz also wrote that the Tegna deal involves several spinoffs that have yet to be filed with the FCC. Cox will acquire a group of four stations currently owned by Standard General affiliate Community News Media LLC, and an unspecified Standard General affiliate will acquire Cox's Fox outlet WFXT in Boston. These two transactions will need to close before the Tegna acquisition, he noted.

“In another transaction following the close of the Tegna acquisition, Cox will purchase the five former Tegna stations in Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas,” Moerbitz wrote. “We estimate the value of these stations at approximately $1.30 billion.”

“Near the end of the quarter, on March 30, Cox announced another large transaction in which it will sell 13 full-power stations in 11 markets to Imagicomm Communications LLC, parent company of the INSP network for $488.0 million,” Moerbitz reported. 

“The top five transactions for the quarter totaled $10.93 billion and accounted for 99% of the quarterly deal volume,” he said. “The other 126 transactions still add up to a respectable $115.9 million.”

Top TV Deals of Q1 2022

(Image credit: Kagan, the media research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence)
George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.