Golden State Warriors

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei called Sinclair’s recent purchase of 21 regional sports networks from Disney a “perversion of public policy.”
Maffei complained the deal gives Sinclair “an edge” in broadcasting negotiations and could lead to less free programming.
Liberty Media made an unsuccessful joint bid for the sports networks.
Watch three of Liberty Media’s key holdings — SiriusXM, Formula One, and Live Nation — trade live.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has opened fire at Sinclair Broadcast’s recent purchase of 21 regional sports networks from Disney, complaining it could give the local-television giant a leg up in negotiations with distributors and result in less free programming.

“It is, to my mind, a little bit of a perversion of public policy,” Maffei said on the media conglomerate’s first-quarter earnings call. “That perversity has led to giving Sinclair, probably, an edge.”

Liberty Media’s key holdings include Formula One, SiriusXM, Live Nation, and the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Sinclair is one of America’s largest television broadcasters with 191 TV stations and more than 600 channels. Liberty Media and Sinclair didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Regulators forced Disney to sell Fox Sports Networks as a condition of its 21st Century Fox acquisition, which it completed in March. The US Justice Department determined that combining Disney’s ESPN sports network with Fox’s sports networks would “end the head-to-head competition between them,” according to its competitive impact statement. The agency anticipated higher licensing fees for cable, satellite, and other video-programming distributors, driving up subscription fees for millions of households, if the networks joined forces.

Liberty Media made a joint bid with Major League Baseball for the regional sports networks (RSN), according to Bloomberg, but Disney ultimately sold them to Sinclair. The networks hold the local rights to 42 national baseball, basketball, and hockey teams …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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