Byron Allen Buys 11 TV Stations Dedicated To Local Communities For $290 Million

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Written by Dana Sanchez
Byron Allen
Byron Allen just bought 11 more local community TV stations for $290M. His tab for TV station acquisitions so far this year is $445M. The CEO and chairman of Entertainment Studios, Allen is pictured at the L.A. premiere of “47 Meters Down”, June 12, 2017. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures/AP Images)

Byron Allen has been on a media-buying shopping spree that shows no signs of slowing down, investing this year alone in small- and medium-sized TV station markets around the U.S. to the tune of almost half a billion dollars.

The CEO of Entertainment Studios and Allen Media, Allen announced this week that he has expanded his TV station holdings with the purchase of 11 small-market network affiliates from USA Television for $290 million.

“This is another milestone for our company,” Allen said in a prepared statement. “We have now agreed to purchase our second broadcast network affiliate station group within the past three months, and continue to aggressively look for other opportunities to grow our global media company through strategic acquisitions.”

Allen Media is quickly becoming one of the largest African American-owned companies of local TV stations in the U.S.

The largest of his new stations is Huntsville/Decatur/Florence, Alabama — market No. 79. The deal, announced Tuesday, brings Allen’s investments this year in this TV station market to $455 million, Variety reported.

Other TV station markets in the deal include Fort Wayne, Ind. (Fox’s WFFT), Eugene, Ore (ABC’s KEZI), Chico-Redding in California (NBC’s KNVN), Rochester, Minn. (CBS’ KIMT) and Terre Haute, Ind. (CBS’ WTHI). The stations will continue to be managed by the current team of USA TV and Heartland Media, according to The Wrap.

“These stations are dedicated to their local communities and this transaction will enable them to become even stronger on both their broadcast and digital platforms,” said USA Television CEO Robert S. Prather, Jr. in a prepared statement.

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The TV stations were bought through Allen Media Broadcasting, adding to Allen’s portfolio of film and TV companies. Allen produces and distributes film and TV shows with 64 currently on the air. He owns nine 24-hour HDTV networks that serve about 160 million subscribers, including The Weather Channel network and its streaming service, Local Now.

In August, Allen partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group to acquire 21 Regional Sports Networks from Walt Disney/Fox Corporation for $10.6 billion. In July 2019, he acquired Bayou City Broadcasting for $165 million, which included four television stations in Evansville, Indiana and Lafayette, Louisiana.

Allen’s Entertainment Studios Network sued Comcast and Charter Communications for $30 billion for racial discrimination after they refused to license his TV channels. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Comcast suit.