Nexstar CEO says streaming deals with networks are coming soon

TV

Nexstar Media CEO Perry Sook is expecting his company will make announcements soon about streaming deals with its various affiliated networks.

Sook said that Nexstar Media has not signed anything yet but assured that his company is “very, very close” to streaming deals with a couple of networks. He added that the discussions have been “constructive.”

Sook wouldn’t offer specifics about the networks with which Nexstar Media is closest to a streaming deal but he did say that any of those deals wouldn’t likely have huge financial impacts in the near term.

Following Nexstar’s recently completed acquisition of Media General, the company now controls 171 broadcast TV stations. Nexstar Media’s stations are affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and The CW.

As Nexstar Media holds out on an affiliate streaming deal (for the time being), major broadcasters have been busy trying to corral their various local affiliates into live TV streaming deals.

NBC and the NBC Television Affiliates Board have a new deal that will allow local TV broadcasters to opt in to NBCUniversal’s carriage agreements with new OTT streaming services and for TVE distribution rights.

“We are happy to once again reinforce NBC’s commitment to and recognition of the value of the affiliate partnership and that of local broadcasters. This agreement in the digital space reaffirms that commitment,” said Jean Dietze, president of NBC Affiliate Relations, in a statement.

ABC recently unveiled Clearinghouse, a program designed to streamline deals on streaming platforms for its local affiliates.

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Of course, Nexstar and all of its local stations is a huge piece of that puzzle for all the major broadcasters. But while Nexstar Media is currently enjoying a relatively massive reach with its broadcast group, Sinclair Broadcast’s recently announced $3.9 billion Tribune Media acquisition will push Sinclair’s station count well past Nexstar’s.

Nexstar has been upfront about its interest in further M&A-related growth but Sook said that, for Nexstar, that didn’t include buying Tribune. He said that Nexstar made an appraisal of Tribune at some point and that the price crossed its “walkaway threshold.”

“We’re not going to do a bad deal for the sake of doing a big deal. We’ll continue to only do accretive deals.”