Sinclair Broadcast Group is in active discussions about channel sharing and is talking about the potential impact of a selloff of spectrum, but TVNewsCheck reports that the talk doesn’t necessarily mean the company intends to sell any spectrum.
Reporting on comments made by CFO Chris Ripley during Wednesday’s second-quarter earnings call with analysts and investors, the publication cites a $2 billion evaluation of the spectrum that could potentially be sold. But according to Ripley, selling that spectrum in the FCC auction would have only an estimated 3% impact on broadcast cash flow.
“Those numbers stem from a market-by-market, station-by-station analysis of Sinclair’s spectrum based on the most recent Greenhill median estimates for spectrum value,” TVNewsCheck reports. “Ripley also noted that the company is ‘in active discussions with people around the option of channel sharing,’ though the spectrum sale-BCF analysis does not include the potential impact of sharing deals.”
The report adds: “While Ripley’s comments pinned a value estimate on the spectrum Sinclair could sell at the auction, they apparently weren’t intended to signal a change of course. Sinclair top boss David Smith has said the company can realize more value retaining its spectrum and potentially leasing some of it while deploying new products and services through an updated broadcast standard, ATSC 3.0.”