U.S. broadcast station mergers and acquisitions volume closed the year at $8.24 billion, according to Kagan, with $5.03 billion in the TV sector.
The biggest stories of 2017 were the mergers of Entercom and CBS Corp.’s CBS Radio, announced in February, and of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media Company, announced in April. The deals stand for 75 percent ($3.76 billion) of the TV deal volume. Even without these agreements, the TV deal market would have grown by 79 percent compared to 2016, excluding Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s merger with Media General.
Deal volume reached $748.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 alone, with $248.3 million from radio and $500.5 million from TV—65 percent of that came from the top deal of the quarter. In early December, NBCUniversal’s Telemundo Station Group acquired all stations of ZGS Communications for $75 million. In mid-December, TEGNA announced the $325 million acquisition of Midwest Television’s stations in the San Diego, California, market. Also in the quarter, HC2 Holdings announced in late November that it would acquire the Azteca America network from affiliates of TV Azteca SAB de CV. Part of the announcement was an agreement with Northstar Media, the biggest licensee of Azteca affiliates, to take over the licenses of 19 stations. Kagan estimated a value of $33 million for the station group.