Sinclair Plans National Cable News Channel with Allbritton Acquisition

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013 04:20 PM

By Dan Weil

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Sinclair Broadcast Group plans to turn a local Washington, D.C. cable news channel that it's buying from Allbritton into a national channel, says Sinclair CEO David Smith.

Sinclair, the nation's largest owner of TV stations, announced Monday that it's purchasing eight Allbritton channels for $985 million.

One of those stations is NewsChannel 8, which has 2 million subscribers in the Washington area, Multichannel News reports.

"Because Allbritton has limited reach, the channel has yet to be fully developed outside the D.C. area," Smith told investors Tuesday, according to the publication. "We believe we have a distinct opportunity to accomplish that."

NewsChannel 8 represent a "launching point" for a national news channel, broadcasting both through the Sinclair stations and through cable/satellite service providers for a "unique hybrid model," Smith said.

"The takeaway is we believe there is significant value we can unlock when we couple the cable channel with the rest of our news channels and roll it out to more than just D.C."


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