Byron Allen makes history again thanks to $10.6 BIL media deal

Allen, who bought The Weather Channel for $300 million dollars last year, is no stranger to making this sort of history.

Over the course of his career, Entertainment Studios founder and CEO, Byron Allen has earned a reputation for shaking up the status quo. Thanks to a new acquisition in partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, valued at a whopping $10.6 billion, it looks like the trailblazing media mogul has done it again!

Friday, it was announced that Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair, would be purchasing 21 regional sports networks (plus Fox College Sports) from Walt Disney Co, with Allen slated to become an equity and content partner.

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Previously, Disney had agreed to sell the 22 networks in order to get regulatory approval from the Department of Justice for its $71.3 billion deal with 21st Century Fox.

“This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets,” Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair said in a statement. Ripley added that although consumer viewing habits have shifted over the years, “the tradition of watching live sports and news remains ingrained in our culture.”

While this deal is indeed exciting, Allen, who bought The Weather Channel for $300 million dollars last year, is no stranger to making this sort of history. As a teenager, he became the youngest comedian to ever appear on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.

He went on to become the first African American to own seven television networks, the first African American to own a movie studio that distributes directly to theaters, the first African American to own a 24-hour news organization (Weather Channel), and now is the first African American to be part of a $10 billion media acquisition. He is a true groundbreaker!

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“My position was that I would have to work 100 times harder to get the same thing as a white person,” he explained last December during a Variety sponsored diversity and inclusion panel in Los Angeles. “The lack of true economic inclusion for African Americans will end with me.”

Although the final price tag for this acquisition was far less than the $20 billion the channels were originally valued at in the larger Disney-21st Century Fox deal, Christine McCarthy, Disney’s senior exec VP and CFO, said the media giant was “pleased to have reached this agreement.”

READ MORE: Byron Allen on diversity in business: ‘I have to work 100 times harder’ than a white person