This epic move not only expands its broadcasting empire, but will strengthen and improve the digital footprint of these local stations.
Byron Allen (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Byron Allen, founder and CEO of Entertainment Studios Networks (parent company of leGrio) acquired 11 television stations broadcast by USA Television Holdings LLC and USA Television MidAmerica Holdings LLC (collectively, USA TV) for $305 million.
Allen Media Broadcasting, a division of Entertainment Studios, closed the deal on Tuesday. The move signifies a commitment from Allen to expand his company’s broadcast holdings, reported Deadline.
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“Over the past six months, we’ve invested nearly $500 million to acquire top-tier broadcast network affiliates,” Allen said. “We plan to invest approximately $10 billion to acquire ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox television networks over the next three years with the goal of being one of the largest broadcast television groups in America. “
This decision should strengthen local coverage and improve the digital footprint of these local stations.
“These stations are dedicated to their local communities and this transaction will allow them to become even stronger on their broadcast and digital platforms,” said the CEO of USA Television. Robert Prather, Jr. said according to Deadline.
In 2015, Allen sued Comcast for discrimination, claiming the nation’s largest cable company refused to pick up Entertainment Studios channels because of his race. Comcast essentially countered that Allen had to demonstrate that race was the sole reason for his decision. He sued under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, a post-Civil War law that allowed “all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States” to have the same right to enforce contracts “than that enjoyed by white citizens”.
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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Allen’s claims to be plausible. Last April, Comcast filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court following the ruling. Over the summer, the Trump DOJ filed an amicus brief with the court in favor of Comcast.
The race discrimination case was heard by the Supreme Court in November 2019 and according to Reuters, has an expected decision expected by the end of June 2020.