Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a forehand return during his men's singles match at the Australian Open.
Photograph by Saeed Khan — AFP/Getty Images
By Benjamin Snyder
January 28, 2016

As the Australian Open is nearing its championship weekend, the Tennis Channel just got a new owner.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (sbgi), which owns the most television stations in the U.S., bought the Tennis Channel for $350 million, according to a company press release.

This is the broadcaster’s first purchase of a national cable television channel, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The channel, which has $200 million in net operating losses, is valued at about $65 million, according to Sinclair’s estimates.

The Tennis Channel has been owned by a slew of private equity firms including Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, CCMP Capital and Columbia Capital, according to the Journal. Broadcasters DirecTV and Dish Network Corp. also own stakes in the network.

“The Company has already negotiated agreements with a number of multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs) which, following Sinclair’s acquisition, will increase carriage of Tennis from approximately 30 million homes to approximately 50 million homes,” according to the company.

“Tennis Channel is an established property with high-quality content and advertisers, and is vastly under-compensated and under-distributed relative to the value it brings to its viewers,” said Sinclair CEO David Smith in a statement. “It was the only independently-owned major sports network left, and we knew we could unlock value through a tuck-in acquisition.”

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