The TV transactions thaw precipitated by the end of the FCC’s Reverse Auction is quickly turning into a flowing stream of hefty deals.
In perhaps the biggest single-station deal by monetary value seen in ages, Meredith Corp. has agreed to an outright purchase of WPCH-17 — the onetime WTBS-TV now branded as “Peachtree TV” — in Atlanta from Time Warner subsidiaries Turner Broadcasting Systems and Superstation.
The price Meredith is forking over for the station, which it has been operating via a joint sales and services agreement since April 2011: $70 million.
A Form 314 confirming the transaction was filed with the FCC on Thursday (2/23).
WPCH is the lone broadcast TV asset tied to Time Warner, which seeks to merge with AT&T.
Meredith is the owner of Atlanta-market WGCL-46, a CBS affiliate. This would give the company a “duopoly” situation.
Consummation of the purchase will be conducted at Alston & Bird LLP, and there is no broker involved in this purchase, given Meredith’s operation of WPCH for nearly six years.
Meredith is legally represented by Michael Basle of Cooley LLP.
William LeBeau of Holland and Knight LLP is the legal representative for Time Warner.
An “Unwind Agrement” is also tied to this deal, which is likely to remove FCC review of the Time Warner-AT&T merger, as it leaves Time Warner without any broadcast television properties in its stable.
Is this deal a sign that a lot of big-dollar deals are about to take place?
“There is no question that the market is opening up,” Peter Tannenwald, a Member attorney at Fletcher Heald & Hildreth tells RBR + TVBR. “That was expected, since the freeze on transactions lasted a long time. Both small and large deals are likely. I have already had several inquiries from both prospective sellers and prospective buyers.”