If your local baseball team appears on one of the 21 “Fox Sports [city/state/region]” stations , its channel is about to switch names. The long-discussed sale of all of those affiliates is done and Sinclair Broadcasting has purchased them from Disney for $10, billion. That according to the Wall Street Journal.
Disney, which acquired the RSNs when it acquired Fox, had to spin them all off for antitrust purposes (they already own ESPN and could not hold that large a percentage of the televised sports market). At times it was thought that MLB, Braves owner Liberty Media and even a group lead by actor/rapper Ice Cube were in the mix — and at times the rumored price tag was thought to be much higher — but the stations are now going to be owned by Sinclair.
Sinclair owns around 200 local television stations but, until recently, had not been in the sports space. That changed last year when Sinclair announced that it was partnering up with the Cubs to launch a new RSN next year called Marquee Sports Network. Sinclair also went in with the Yankees to repurchase a stake of YES Network, which the Yankees had mostly spun off to Fox and sold separately.
Which means that Sinclair will be in charge of 22 RSNs, most of which are baseball heavy, soon and will have a minority interest in a 23rd.