It’s the latest move for Sinclair in regional programming, which is an area that the company already has vast control over. (The Federal Communications Commission actually blocked a merger between Sinclair and the Tribune Media Company last year due to concerns about Sinclair’s reach.)
The 21 sports networks in question were part of Disney’s purchase of Fox and its assets in the blockbuster deal that closed earlier this year. But because of Disney’s already heavy presence in sports (mostly through ESPN and its various networks), Disney was required by regulators to divest those regional sports networks in order to get approval for the deal to go through.
Now that the deal is worked out, everything seems to have been wrapped up nicely for Disney’s purchase of Fox. All that’s left is to see how these changes will impact the rest of the entertainment industry, and those effects may take years to fully be seen.