SBG Announces Launch of Original Programming Division
Contact: David Amy, EVP & COO
SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING DIVISION
BALTIMORE (August 21, 2014) — Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) (the “Company” or “Sinclair”) announced today that it has launched Sinclair Original Programming (“SOP”), a division of the Company involved in the creation and development of original content. SOP’s focus will be on entertainment content and business-to-consumer content such as infomercials and direct response commercials. Initially, shows will be developed for the Company’s MyNets and CWs and will air in prime time and afternoon time periods on the weekend. The division will be led by Arthur Hasson, who is being named Chief Operating Officer of Sinclair Original Programming, reporting into David Smith, President & CEO of Sinclair. Mr. Hasson will also continue as General Manager of Sinclair’s CBS, CW and MyNet affiliates, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“Combining content ownership with our premier distribution spectrum of over-the-air television and related digital/web platforms is one of the last key components in securing the value of our platform,” stated David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair. “Controlling our content and its development not only reduces our dependency on others, providing a hedge against network disruptions, but allows us greater economic upside potential. SOP will be in addition to the over 1,800 hours of local news programming we produce a week, our planned cable news network, Ring of Honor Wrestling, high school sports and our newly launched American Sports Network, which will produce and air a minimum of 160 NCAA Division I collegiate games per academic year. The media landscape is evolving and controlling distribution, as well as the content delivered through that platform, is even more imperative in order to remain competitive.”
“Sinclair is a major television broadcaster with multiple distribution platforms and needs for a variety of shows,” commented Arthur Hasson, COO of Sinclair Original Programming. “Our stations have tremendous reach and a wide-range of audience demographics. This venture will provide opportunities for us to meet viewers’ needs and to contribute to the company’s bottom line. By developing original content in connection with talented program producers, we can provide cost effective, flexible projects that can be readily monetized. In addition, we believe there is potential to distribute shows beyond our platforms both domestically and internationally. From the creative side, our large footprint of stations allows us to test concepts and talent efficiently.”
While Mr. Hasson will oversee original content development and work directly with production companies and studios, Bill Butler, Vice President of Programming and Promotion, will continue to manage the syndicator and studio relationships, identify programming needs, negotiate content license fees, and oversee promotional budgets and operations.
Mr. Hasson has served as General Manager of Sinclair’s CBS and MyNet affiliates in Harrisburg, PA and has oversight for WLYH (CW) in that same market pursuant to a local marketing agreement since 2012. Prior to that and from 2006, he served as Principal/President of MultiPlatform Distribution Company, a producer and distributor of television programming. From 2009 to 2011, he was Co-Creator and Executive Producer of ‘Crowd Sourced Hero’ and ‘Subway® High School Heroes,’ and various other social entertainment programs and competitions. Prior to that, Mr. Hasson was Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of ClubCreate Inc., a music creation software and services company. From 1990 through 2005, he served in various roles at NBC Universal Television Distribution, including EVP – Cable, Canada and Ancillary Sales; EVP – Sales and New Business; and various sales management roles. Mr.Hasson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology and a Film/Video Production minor from Binghamton University.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is the largest and one of the most diversified television broadcasting companies with affiliations with all the major networks. Sinclair’s television group will reach approximately 38.2% of U.S. television households, including pending transactions. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
The matters discussed in this news release, include forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, future operating results. When used in this news release, the words “outlook,” “intends to,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “achieves,” “estimates,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results in the future could differ materially and adversely from those described in the forwardlooking statements as a result of various important factors, including, but not limited to, the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the volatility in the U.S. and global economies and financial credit markets which impact our ability to forecast, our ability to integrate acquired businesses and maximize operating synergies, our ability to obtain necessary governmental approvals for announced acquisitions, successful execution of outsourcing agreements, pricing and demand fluctuations in local and national advertising, volatility in programming costs, the market’s acceptance of new programming, including local sports, and performance of, the CW Television Network and MyNetworkTV programming, our news share strategy, our local sales initiatives, the execution of retransmission consent agreements, our ability to identify and consummate investments in attractive non-television assets and to achieve anticipated returns on those investments once consummated, and any other risk factors set forth in the Company’s most recent reports on Form 10-Q, Form 10-K and Form 8-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurances that the assumptions and other factors referred to in this release will occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements except as required by law.