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, American Sports Network and its Original Programming Division. It was during this time that our President and CEO, 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.
2010 – Around this time, consumer viewing habits began changing dramatically as over-the-top technologies, mobile apps, and social networks were introduced. It was clear that Sinclair and other television broadcasters would need to be in this space and so our digital interactive (“DI”) platform was born. The DI foundation is based on a three screen approach (fixed TV set, websites and portable applications) to drive local news, to interface with our audience, and to provide for an out-of-home means for our advertisers to reach consumers.
2011 to 2014 – Following the Great Recession, Sinclair kicked off the next wave of industry consolidation when it acquired the Four Points and Freedom Communications stations. Over the next couple of years, it would go on to acquire over $3 billion in assets, including, Allbritton Communications, Fisher Communications, Barrington Broadcasting, as well as select stations from Newport, Titan, and COX, to name a few.
2014 – Sinclair, through its Allbritton acquisition, acquired its first cable network, NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C. After having acquired 109 stations in the three-year period, Sinclair emerged not only as the leading industry consolidator, but one of the most diversified broadcasters and largest ABC, CBS, CW, FOX and MYTV affiliate in the country. Sinclair now had 162 stations in 79 markets.
That same year, Sinclair launched American Sports Network, a collegiate and local high school sports initiative, successfully entering into production agreements with 11 NCAA Division 1 conferences, airing over 220 games in its first year of operation. The Company also launched its Sinclair Original Programming division to create original content for its stations and other broadcast groups.
In keeping with the Company’s vision for developing the industry’s spectrum capabilities, Sinclair launched ONE Media, which along with Coherent Logix, was tasked with developing the Next Generation Broadcast Platform to enable broadcasters the ability to reach mobile and portable devices, broadcast in Ultra high definition (4k and HDR), and launch new business models that could change the face of broadcasting as it is known today.