According to a new report published by Bloomberg, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the parent company of Ring of Honor Wrestling and the largest owner of television stations in the United States, is considering placing a bid to purchase all 22 regional sports networks being sold by the Walt Disney Company as part of a $71 billion FOX deal.
The report furthers Sinclair would have to team up with some kind of private equity firm in order to place a serious bid, with Sinclair’s CEO Christopher Ripley adding, “if you’re doing the whole thing, you’d have to take on a private equity partner.”
Disney is currently amidst purchasing the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox Inc, and in so doing is looking to rid itself of the FOX sports channels in order to handle the asset acquisition.
On October 4th, 2019, WWE is set to move Smackdown Live to FOX Sports, in a landmark five-year deal which will see WWE Raw remain on USA Network. Along with the deal to air Smackdown Live on FOX Sports, discussions have taken place between WWE and FOX regarding a potential airing of NXT on Fox Sports 1, but nothing has been confirmed or announced.
Back in June of this year, WWE Co-President Michelle Wilson noted on a conference call that WWE is looking at airing cross-promotional content on FOX Sports along with Smackdown, adding “there have been discussions around additional promotional programming that would highlight other activities in WWE.”
Should Sinclair Broadcast Group land the FOX Sports package, the company would effectively own the station airing Smackdown Live, along with owning Ring of Honor Wrestling, one of WWE’s rival wrestling promotions in The United States.
The Bloomberg report adds that in addition to Sinclair, Google’s YouTube and Amazon.com Inc., as well as financial firms such as Blackstone Group LP, CVC Capital Partners and Apollo Global Management LLC have all expressed interesting in placing a bid for the FOX Sport assets, which could fetch a whopping $20 billion in an auction.