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byron allen

2 mins read

Byron Allen Acquires 11 TV Stations for $290 Million

Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen is expanding his TV station holdings with the purchase of 11 small-market network affiliates from USA Television for $290 million.

The largest of the stations is in market No. 79, Huntsville/Decatur/Florence in Alabama. The deal unveiled Tuesday with Atlanta-based USA Television brings Allen’s investments this year in small- and mid-sized market TV stations to $455 million.

In July, Allen Media Broadcasting cut a deal with Bayou City Broadcasting to buy four stations in Indiana and Louisiana for $165 million.

“I have known Byron Allen for decades and we are delighted that these stations will now be part of his dynamic company, and that Heartland management will continue to guide them,” said USA Television CEO Robert S. Prather, Jr. “These stations are dedicated to their local communities and this transaction will enable them to become even stronger on both their broadcast and digital platforms.”

Prather, former head of Atlanta-based broadcaster Gray Television, has been buying up stations during the past few years in partnership with USA Television parent Heartland Media and Atlanta-based private equity firm MSouth Equity Partners.

“Bob Prather is an excellent broadcaster and he has done a brilliant job of assembling a stellar management team to operate these very strong network affiliate broadcast stations,” said Allen, chairman-CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media.

“This is another milestone for our company, as we have now agreed to purchase our second broadcast network affiliate station group within the past three months, and continue to aggressively look for other opportunities to grow our global media company through strategic acquisitions.”

Allen Media is fast becoming one of the nation’s largest African American owners of local TV stations.

The USA Television station deal includes stations in Fort Wayne, Ind. (Fox’s WFFT), Eugene, Ore (ABC’s KEZI), Chico-Redding in California (NBC’s KNVN), Rochester, Minn. (CBS’ KIMT) and Terre Haute, Ind. (CBS’ WTHI).


Source: Variety

2 mins read

Byron Allen Secures $10 Billion Sports Network Deal

In the over crowded race for Disney’s 21 regional sports channels, Byron Allen and Sinclair Broadcast Group have come out on top. As a minority investor in Sinclair, Allen will benefit from the $10.6 billion acquisition as he looks to expand his media entertainment empire. For Disney, will this sale be enough to start paying down the massive debt they’re carrying due to its $71.3 billion 21st Century Fox deal?

The Breakdown You Need to Know

So far Disney has reduced its debt amount from $26.09 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion last year. The mouse house sold its 39% stake in London based Sky to Comcast for $15.3 billion in September, and temporarily suspended its share repurchase program, all of which how to lower it debt load. Now with the sale of these networks to Sinclair, they should be able to cut down their debt even further.

Regional sports networks, or RSNs, which own the rights to broadcast professional sports games across the country fit perfectly into Allen’s formulaic approach to spurring the growth of his Entertainment Studios media properties. He is already the owner of The Weather Channel and as part of the agreement will provide content to the sports networks.

“These are very valuable assets, and they are hard to come by,” Allen said to Bloomberg. “No one would sell them if they didn’t have to. And this is a situation where they had to.”

Allen’s Media Slam Dunk: Disney had to get rid of the RSNs by mid-June to avoid antitrust concerns raised by its $71.3 billion merger with Fox. Regulators argued that since Disney owned ESPN they would effectively have a monopoly on sports networks. The deal doesn’t include the New York Yankees team’s regional sports network “Yes,” this network will remain under Disney’s umbrella.

Source: FORBES

1 min read

Byron Allen Buys Weather Channel for $300 Million

Media entrepreneur Byron Allen struck a deal to acquire the Weather Channel from Comcast Corp. and private-equity firms Blackstone Group LP and Bain Capital for $300 million.

Allen’s Los Angeles-based media company, Entertainment Studios, purchased Weather Group, the parent company of the Weather Channel and Local Now streaming service, for $300 million, according to a person familiar with the terms who was not authorized to comment publicly. It’s the largest acquisition in Entertainment Studios’ history.

The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and has 400 employees. Entertainment Studios had been seeking a deal for about a year, and talks got serious in the last three to four months.

“The acquisition of The Weather Channel is strategic, as we begin our process of investing billions of dollars over the next five years to acquire some of the best media assets around the world,” Allen said in a statement.