Recognizing the benefits of scale and reach, Sinclair led the next wave of industry consolidation. As its platform grew and viewing patterns evolved, Sinclair launched its Digital platform, emerging network and other original content. It was during this time that David Smith’s vision for the mobility and portability of the television signal took hold as the industry coalesced around the need for ATSC 3.0.
2011 – Sinclair kicked off the next wave of industry consolidation when it acquired the Four Points and Freedom Communications stations.
2014 – Sinclair, through its Allbritton Communications acquisition, acquires its first cable channel, NewsChannel8 in Washington D.C. After having acquired 109 stations in the three-year period and adding over $3 billion in assets, Sinclair emerges not only as the leading industry consolidator, but one of the most diversified broadcasters and largest FOX, ABC, CBS, CW and MYTV affiliate in the country.
That same year, Sinclair launched American Sports Network, a collegiate sports initiative, airing over 200 NCAA Division I games in its first year. The Company also launched its Sinclair Original Programming division to create low cost original content for its stations.
In keeping with the Company’s vision for developing the industry’s digital television capabilities, Sinclair launched ONE Media, which along with Coherent Logix, was tasked with developing the next generation wireless data network to enable broadcasters to reach mobile devices, broadcast in 4K ultra high definition, and launch new business models that could change the face of broadcasting as it is known today.
2015 to 2016 – With meaningful scale and reach, Sinclair expanded its focus to becoming multi-platformed and vertically integrated, focusing on original programming, distribution and network content. With its 2,200 hours of local news per week, Sinclair was now the largest producer of local news content in the country and looking to expand nationally. In 2015, the Company added “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson,” a Sunday morning national news program focused on unique investigative reporting. In 2016, the Company went live with “Circa,” a mobile, digital-first news destination focused on Millenial viewers. As well, Sinclair deployed “NewsOn,” an over-the-top news app.
Further expanding its original content initiatives, in 2015 the Company formed “COMET,” the first-ever science-fiction over-the-air multicast network in partnership with MGM; and transformed “American Sports Network,” the Company’s production of live high school and college games, into a 24/7 multicast network. In 2017, ASN was merged with 120 Sports and Silver Chalice to become Stadium. In 2016, Sinclair acquired its first cable network, Tennis Channel, expanding the Company’s live sports presence and broadening the network’s audience reach. In 2017, Tennis Media and Tennis.com were added, making Sinclair the ultimate destination for all things tennis and tennis lifestyle.
With near 39% reach of the country, Sinclair launched Audience Network Sales, a sales initiative that sells Sinclair’s entire footprint thereby competing for the $50 billion cable network advertising monies. At the same time, Sinclair launched OXMYX, a programmatic initiative that automates the buy.
On the digital front, the Company launched its digital content and video management systems, which unified its digital platforms, simplified workflow and provided for dynamic ad insertion. “Refined,” an on-line, digital-only city magazine/lifestyle website debuted along with a companion television show.
Meanwhile, on the technical front, ONE Media’s essential intellectual property was approved for inclusion in the ATSC 3.0 “Next Generation” transmission standard, bringing Sinclair’s vision for an IP connected and mobile platform closer to reality.
2017 – The year started with the appointment of Christopher Ripley as only the Company’s third CEO & President as David Smith became Executive Chairman. The Company also launched its first vision statement, “Connecting People with Content Everywhere” which epitomized the importance of technology to the future of the Company and the industry.
This year witnessed the completion of the National Broadband Plan Spectrum Auction. As part of the Congressional-mandated and FCC-managed auction, we and our partner stations sold three station licenses in Baltimore, Harrisburg, and Milwaukee for $311 million gross proceeds.
Continuing our mission of wireless distribution, marketing services and content creation, we launched Charge, an action-based emerging network with MGM; and TBD, a Millenial-focused network bringing the best of the web to broadcast television.
This same year, we announced the largest acquisition in broadcast history. The acquisition of Tribune Media Company for $3.9 billion plus the assumption of $2.7 billion of debt, which gives us access to the top ten markets and a national footprint of 72% from which to launch advanced TV services and supercharge our Network sales division.