Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc reached a $9.6 billion deal with Disney Co. to buy 21 regional sports networks Friday in an effort to tap into the live sports streaming market. According to Reuters, the company also said they are interested in teaming with tech giants such as Amazon to reach its goals.
Teaming with a big tech company is in Sinclair’s best interest considering Disney, Amazon, Netflix and AT&T rule digital streaming and going head to head from scratch is an uphill battle.
“There is only going to be more competition and more interest for key assets like this in the future,” President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Ripley said, in response to a question about licensing sports to big tech companies. “We have an interest in as broad a distribution as possible.”
Ripley called the deal a bargain Sunday because Disney needed to sell the assets to gain approval for its $71.3 billion deal to buy the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox from Murdoch.
Sinclair sees the limited availability of live sports as the key to a potential long term profit business strategy.
“There are only 160 or so baseball games a year,” Ripley said. “No matter how much money that Amazon or Google or Apple throws at the MLB, they can’t really change that dynamic very easily.”
Sinclair also has a stake in Disney’s $3.5 million sale of the YES Network to the New York Yankees and Amazon, though the details of that deal haven’t been disclosed.