Are Altitude Ills Impacting Sinclair Shares?

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On Saturday, a Rocky Mountain sports network went dark on Xfinity and DirecTV systems — two days after it went dark on DISH Network.


A lack of new carriage agreements with the three providers, an unprecedented situation, is the reason. While Sinclair Broadcast Group has nothing to do with it, some investors seem rattled.

With Tuesday’s Closing Bell, SBGI was off 5%, to $42.35, in trading of 1.47 million shares.

Average trading for Sinclair is 1.27 million shares.

The dip puts Sinclair at its lowest price since early April, and negates a big jump seen on May 6 for the stock.

That jump came with Sinclair’s announcement that it would acquire 21 regional sports networks (RSNs) from The Walt Disney Corporation at a valuation of $10.6 billion.

By May 10, a $61.81 finish had been seen for SBGI.

Then, on May 21, Sinclair announced that the Marquee Sports Network would be born as a home for Chicago Cubs baseball, with Michael McCarthy leading it after serving as President of MSG Network.

By late June, a closing price above $56 was still seen, keeping SBGI at healthy five-year highs.

Today, Sinclair is still near its highest point in five years. But, the last month hasn’t been pretty.

The Altitude situation could be one reason. As it acquired last week a 20% interest in YES Network, any concerns that carriage fee negotiations could go as poorly as that of Stan Kroenke’s Altitude may be higher than ever.

Even an August 29 ex-dividend date for SBGI couldn’t stem the month-long dip.

Sinclair has a 1-year target price of $65.71.

In immediate after-hours trading on Tuesday, SBGI was up 12 cents to $42.47.

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