Thirty-one Nexstar Media Group-owned television stations have no fear of participating in a “great affiliation swap” anytime soon.
A new multi-year agreement has been signed by the Dallas-based television broadcasting company and Fox Broadcasting Company.
The FOX-owned Nexstar stations reach 8% of all U.S. households.
But wait, there’s more: With Nexstar’s merger with Tribune Media approved midday Monday (9/16), the new agreement will also cover the eight FOX affiliates that Nexstar is acquiring as part of the acquisition.
It’s an important deal for FOX: Once the Tribune deal closes, Nexstar will be the largest owner/operator of FOX-affiliated stations, covering 16% of the U.S. with 39 stations.
A 40th station is rumored: WSFL-39 in Miami. Market chatter remains strong that the Sunbeam Television-owned WSVN-7 will drop its affiliation with FOX and adopt a hyper-local news-heavy program lineup much in the same way co-owned WHDH-7 in Boston did when it lost its NBC affiliation at the end of 2016.
“We are delighted to reach this long-term extension of our affiliation agreements with FOX well ahead of the expiration date of the existing contracts and in a manner that mutually recognizes the value of our partnership,” said Nexstar founder and President/CEO Perry Sook. “The combination of Nexstar’s local news programming with FOX’s sports and entertainment programming support our goals for delivering great content and information to viewers, while providing effective, multi-platform marketing opportunities for local and national advertisers.”
Mike Biard, President, Operations and Distribution for Fox Corporation, added, “Together FOX and Nexstar deliver leading prime-time, sports and local programming to our audiences, and with this new agreement we look forward to continuing to provide consumers with an unrivaled television viewing experience for years to come.”