Fox in Talks to Buy 10 TV Stations From Sinclair (Report)

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Rupert Murdoch

The deal would strengthen so-called New Fox after the sale of various assets to Walt Disney.

After its $52.4 billion December mega-deal to sell large parts to Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox is in talks to acquire around 10 TV stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The price tag for the potential deal, first reported by the Financial Times, wasn't immediately clear.

The acquisition would strengthen so-called New Fox, which after the Disney deal will consist of the Fox broadcast network, TV stations, Fox News and Fox Sports. It includes stations in key NFL markets, such as Denver and Seattle. Fox currently owns 28 stations in 17 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Houston.

For Sinclair, the station sale would help get regulators' approval for its proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, which would make it the largest U.S. TV station owner. The Fox deal is expected to focus on markets where Sinclair would own two so-called full power stations after the Tribune transaction, which current Federal Communications Commission rules don't allow. 

The FCC previously said it would review a rule limiting TV station groups to a reach of 39 percent of U.S. TV households.

A representative for Fox, of which Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch are executive co-chairs and James Murdoch is CEO, declined to comment. Sinclair couldn't immediately be reached.