Sinclair Broadcast Group told analysts that rebates from sports leagues could come next year for missed games this year, according to Multichannel News. The company purchased 21 regional sports networks from The Walt Disney Co. in 2019 and owns parts of the Marquee Sports Network, YES Network and Tennis Channel.
Any rebate money could be significant to RSNs, as sports fees account for more than 50% of a pay TV distributor’s programming costs. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said rights agreements generally include a minimum game requirement and are obligated for a rebate if not met. Ripley believes the NHL and NBA likely met their requirements but expects some leagues to fall short. The refunds, however, would likely be small and clarification on how much won’t come until next year, Ripley said.
UConn Football to CBS
The University of Connecticut announced a deal with CBS Sports Network to broadcast four football home games in 2020 and then every home game through 2023, according to the Hartford Courant. UConn football had been facing an uncertain future as an independent after the school left the AAC in 2019 to allow its basketball teams to return to the Big East, which doesn’t have football.
The CBS deal, worth seven figures, also comes with two options that could extend it to 2027. The agreement was done through Learfield IMG College, UConn’s multimedia rightsholder.