FOX Sports RSN Yank Prompts PM Selloff Of Sinclair Shares

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Up until 1pm Eastern on Friday, all looked well for Sinclair Broadcast Group shares, with trading in positive territory.


Then, with seemingly no warning, SBGI careened into a deep Wall Street canyon, dipping some 6.4% by 3:30pm Eastern and accelerating to a 7.7% dip just four minutes later.

Volume had exceeded its daily average of 1.64 million shares.

What triggered the sell-off? A strikeout that doesn’t even involve Sinclair — yet.

As RBR+TVBR neared its Friday deadlines, it learned that DISH Network subscribers at Noon ET Friday — including Sling TV users — were blocked from viewing any FOX Sports-branded regional sports network in the absence of a new agreement.

In a statement offered to Sports Business Daily, Fox Sports Regional Networks said Fox RSNs offered to extend Dish and Sling under the current terms of a existing agreement, but Dish and Sling rejected the offer.

In a statement, Dish Network said that it offered “a short-term extension, in an effort to quickly negotiate a fair, long-term deal for our customers.”

The networks are owned by The Walt Disney Co. — for now.

Sinclair is buying the 21 RSNs, and this explains the steep dip in Sinclair shares, plus the timing of the dip. It is a $10 billion deal, and any blemish could spook investors.

Among the channels: YES Network, likely a popular choice among those on Wall Street who have DISH as a TV services provider, or frequent bars that rely on DISH.

YES is being sold to a group in which Sinclair is a partner alongside Amazon.com and the New York Yankees.

Sinclair’s Q2 2019 earnings are due August 7, and in the last 30 days SBGI had been on a growth streak, surpassing $59 in early July. In the last 10 days, Sinclair had shed nearly $6 off its share price.

At the Closing Bell on Wall Street, SBGI was off 6.1% to $52.85.