(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch-controlled Twenty-First Century Fox Inc is in talks to buy about 10 television stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.
Sinclair is selling the channels to win regulatory approval for its deal to buy Tribune Media Co, according to the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media.
The channels being sold will include some in important U.S. National Football League markets, such as Seattle and Denver, the sources said, adding that the deal will help Fox earn more advertising dollars for its national NFL broadcast rights.
The Financial Times first reported about the talks citing people familiar with the situation. (on.ft.com/2Fk9jVv)
The sales will be in regions where Sinclair owns two “full power” stations, prohibited under the current Federal Communications Commission rules.
Fox declined to comment while Sinclair did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Fox’s move comes less than a month after it decided to sell its film, television and international businesses to Walt Disney Co for $52.4 billion in stock. However, the talks to buy the Sinclair stations began before Fox engaged in discussions with Disney, one of the sources said.
Before Walt Disney’s acquisition, Fox will spin off into a newly listed company its Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, sports channels FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network.
Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Arun Koyyur