FOX Sports RSN Yank Prompts PM Selloff Of Sinclair Shares


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 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.