• Sinclair Broadcast Group is a telecommunications company that owns regional news networks all across the country.
  • The acquisition of Disney’s 21 regional sports networks made Sinclair’s stock jump from $13 a share to $58.84 a share.
  • Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley has previously expressed interest in providing live sports betting odds on screen during broadcasts of sporting events.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As more states begin to legalize wagering on sports in the coming weeks, the interest in sporting events themselves continues to rise.

Sinclair Broadcasting Group, along with the help of Byron Allen of Entertainment Studios, look to ride this momentum by acquiring 21 regional sports networks across the US from Disney for $10.6 billion.

“This acquisition is an extraordinary opportunity to diversify Sinclair’s content sources and revenue streams with high-quality assets that are driving live viewing,” Said Sinclair CEO Christopher Ripley. “We also see this as an opportunity to realize cross-promotional collaboration and synergistic benefits related to programming and production.”

The cross-promotional collaboration he was referring to comes in part from sportsbook operators trying to advertise on Sinclair networks. Ripley estimates that anywhere between $1.5 billion to $2 billion in new revenue industry-wide would come from these types of businesses.

While this deal will have a significant impact for Sinclair on the backend, viewers of these networks could also have a potentially new sports watching experience in the near future.

“If you’re interested in gaming, we’re going to add extra stats, the ability to do prop bets in the game, pitch by pitch, play by play,” said Ripley. “You can play along and wager while you watch.”

Sinclair itself would not become a sportsbook operator, rather it would partner with one in order to present these continuously updating odds.

While this may seem like a revolutionary watching experience, an almost identical approach was taken by NBC Sports Washington Plus when they presented an alternate sports betting focused broadcast of several Washington Wizards games.

The timeline for when they would implement this feature into their new networks is unclear, however, the acquisition in itself seems to be a safe bet.

“It’s interesting: if you went back 20 years, you’d see that entertainment programming regularly out-rated sports. Since then, sports continued to increase in appeal. Now sports dominate the ratings chart,” said Ripley in an interview with Forbes.

Others see the value in this acquisition as well with shares jumping from $13 each to as much as $58.84 a share.

Sinclair now has the rights to dozens of professional sports team’s games in 19 of the top 25 markets in the US. The ability to offer live betting odds on screen will likely only be available in the states that have already legalized the practice.

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