I could kvetch here about conglomerates and how mega companies merging – even entertainment companies – is not ideal in many ways, but I just shared my opinion of that and should move on to the point of this post…
Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox. No, not all holdings but tons of them in film and production. The one aspect that Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Florida Panthers fans need to be aware of and keep an eye out on is that the deal forces Disney to get rid of some of those holdings…Like Fox Sports Net’s 22 affiliate stations around the country.
This is where two plus two should have clicked and you gotten the idea that the Fox Sports Net stations in the Sunshine State are up for sale. How this will effect broadcasts now or after their acquisition is a puzzle.
It’s not just the who of acquisition that is a puzzle but what will happen that changes or shifts the networks? There’s no telling if everything remains regional alone or if broadcasts from other markets will be aired on the stations to fill air time… Then again, it might all remain status-quo with the stations re-dubbed as NBC Sports or Spectrum affiliates, or another party (Sportnet as an international sports network, perhaps, though law may prevent that).
Comcast and Spectrum are the two key players cited in this article about the situations. Comcast (the communication company that owns the National Broadcast Company and it’s co-branded affiliates such as NBC Sports and MSNBC among many others) or Charter Communications and the Spectrum network. Spctrum has become a player in Tampa Bay of recent as they’ve acquired cable holdings. They do own and operate sports stations elsewhere in the country as-is and do hsave an interest in expanding their holdings.
Broadcasting shouldn’t be affected really; if the sale of the affiliates does not happen by the end of September, the failure will be on the Fox acquisition by Disney. If and when affiliation changes happen though, it’s tough to gauge if and how things will eventually shift on both networks.