Fox to Buy Three Local TV Stations for $350 Million

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Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch

The company targeted the Nexstar stations because of their presence in NFL markets.

Fox Corp. is continuing its spree of acquisitions, buying three local TV stations in Seattle and Milwaukee from Nexstar Media Group in a deal valued at $350 million.

The stations, KCPQ and KZGO in Seattle and WITI in Milwaukee, were targeted by Fox because they are in “two key markets that align with the company’s sports rights,” Fox said in announcing the pact. The Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers both play in the National Football Conference, where Fox has extensive NFL rights.

KCPQ and WITI are already Fox affiliates, while KZGO is a MyNetworkTV affiliate. The deal, once completed, will mean Fox owns stations in 14 of the top 15 local TV markets. The company is targeting the pact to close in the first half of 2020, pending regulatory approvals.

As part of the deal, Fox has agreed to sell Nexstar two stations in Charlotte, North Carolina — Fox affiliate WJZY and MyNetworkTV-affiliate WMYT — for approximately $45 million.

The acquisitions are the first local TV stations acquired by Fox since the company closed the sale of its entertainment assets to Disney earlier this year.

“This acquisition expands the reach of one of Fox’s core assets, our television stations portfolio, and further strengthens what is already a highly profitable and cash generative business,” Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said Tuesday in a statement. “The Seattle and Milwaukee markets both overlap with key sports markets, creating significant opportunities for growth and collaboration.”

“Acquiring stations in these high-performing NFC markets enhances our already strong nationwide footprint and further demonstrates Fox Television Stations’ commitment to serving our viewers, advertisers and local communities,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations.

“The Charlotte metropolitan area is the fastest growing in the country with a strong and stable economy, affordable housing and a solid job market," said Nexstar CEO Perry Sook. "We look forward to adding Fox Affiliate WJZY and MyNetworkTV Affiliate WMYT to our platform as they represent excellent complements to our already strong mid-Atlantic presence and will benefit from our local news and other programming resources."