AT&T Possibly Selling Regional Sports Networks to Cut Debt, Four Networks To Earn the Company $1 Billion
AT&T amassed quite a lot of debt with its acquisition of DirectTV and Time Warner Inc. back in 2015. Now, the company is trying to reduce some of that debt by possibly selling its Regional Sports Networks (RSNs). The four regional networks, which include rights to teams such as the hockey’s Pittsburgh Penguins, basketball’s Houston Rockets and baseball’s Seattle Mariners, could fetch close to $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The networks reportedly being sold are AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah, Nevada and Colorado), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (parts of Texas and Louisiana) and Root Sports Northwest (Alaska, Washington and Oregon). They have rights to more than two dozen pro teams, college programs and NCAA conferences.
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.,—which bought 21 Fox regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co. for $9.6 billion in May— as well as Liberty Media Corp.—which, along with the MLB, had also put in a bid for the RSNs—and Ice Cube’s Big3 U.S. basketball league are reported to be among the potential buyers.
This sale would continue AT&T’s continued effort to reduce its debt. Earlier this year, the company also sold its stake in Hulu back to the streaming service for $1.43 billion.