Press release from Entertainment Studios, Oct. 1, 2019:
Entertainment Studios, one of the largest independent producers and distributors of film and television, with 64 shows on the air, and owner of nine 24-hour HD television networks now serving nearly 160 million subscribers — including The Weather Channel television network and its streaming service Local Now — proudly announces it has reached an agreement to acquire 11 broadcast television stations from USA Television Holdings LLC and USA Television MidAmerica Holdings LLC (collectively, USA TV) for $290 million. Byron Allen’s Allen Media Broadcasting division is acquiring the following broadcast television stations:
The USA TV portfolio acquisition follows a number of recent transformative transactions executed by Byron Allen. In August 2019, Mr. Allen partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group to acquire 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) from Walt Disney/FOX Corporation for $10.6 billion. In July 2019, Byron Allen acquired Bayou City Broadcasting, which included 4 television stations in Evansville, IN (WEVV/CBS & WEEV/FOX) and Lafayette, LA (KLAF/NBC & KADN/FOX) for $165 million. In March 2018, Mr. Allen acquired The Weather Channel, one of the most trusted news networks that has served Americans for nearly four decades. After investing $455 million in broadcast television station acquisitions over the past three months, the addition of the USA TV portfolio grows the Allen Media Broadcasting group to 15 television stations across 11 U.S. markets, and allows Allen Media Group to reach an even broader audience, while strategically positioning the company across broadcast television, cable networks, and digital media platforms.
“I have known Byron Allen for decades and we are delighted that these stations will now be part of his dynamic company, and that Heartland management will continue to guide them,” said USA Television CEO Robert S. Prather, Jr. “These stations are dedicated to their local communities and this transaction will enable them to become even stronger on both their broadcast and digital platforms.”
“Bob Prather is an excellent broadcaster and he has done a brilliant job of assembling a stellar management team to operate these very strong network affiliate broadcast stations,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media LLC. “This is another milestone for our company, as we have now agreed to purchase our second broadcast network affiliate station group within the past three months, and continue to aggressively look for other opportunities to grow our global media company through strategic acquisitions.”
Allen’s continued expansion into broadcast television is the latest step the company has taken in further extending the global reach of its programming and content. The Entertainment Studios divisions now include: broadcast television network affiliates, streaming services, broadcast television syndication, production and distribution of 64 television programs, nine 24/7 HD television networks, theatrical motion picture production, acquisition and global distribution, digital movie acquisition and distribution, and global news publishing – making Allen Media Group one of the largest privately-held media companies in the world. Byron Allen started the company from his dining room table 26 years ago.
RBC Capital Markets acted as sole financial advisor to Allen Media Group. Latham & Watkins LLP, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and Loeb & Loeb LLP acted as legal advisors to Allen Media Group. Moelis & Company, LLC was the exclusive financial advisor to USA TV and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP provided legal services in connection with the transaction.