AT&T is “weighing” a sale of its four regional sports networks (RSNs) as a means to reduce debt, according to Bloomberg. The potential RSN package could fetch a price close to “$1 billion,” the publication wrote. Such a sale could cut $8 billion in debt off of its balance sheet by the end of 2019.
Considering the former Ma Bell paid $85 billion for Time Warner a year ago, that would be some welcome savings. In 2014, AT&T bought DirecTV in a deal ultimately valued at $67.1 billion.
Sinclair, which in May bought 21 RSNs from Fox-Disney for $10.6 billion, is believed to be the leading candidate for the four networks: 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).
The WarnerMedia parent’s RSNs include the rights to the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners, among other pro teams, college programs and NCAA conferences.
Reps for AT&T did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story. A spokesman for Sinclair declined comment.
Sinclair’s purchase of Fox-Disney’s RSNs is still awaiting approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.