Byron Allen Buys 11 Local TV Stations As Comcast Continues To Refuse To Carry His Channels
Meanwhile, Allen is in a battle against Comcast, arguing that the company discriminated against him.
October 07, 2019 at 3:23 pm
Byron Allen is having one hell of a year.
While Allen, a successful Black businessman, is in the middle of a lawsuit with media giant Comcast, he also just closed a deal to buy 11 regional broadcast TV stations for $290 million, reports The Wrap.
Allen’s company purchased the stations from USA Television Holdings LLC and USA Television MidAmerica Holdings LLC. Those stations cover smaller markets like Huntsville, Alabama, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Chico-Redding, California and Eugene, Oregon, the report said.
The stations will continue to be managed by the current team of USA TV and Heartland Media.
The buys don't mark Allen’s only big purchase this year. In August, he reportedly partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group to acquire 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) from Walt Disney/Fox Corporation for $10.6 billion.
Also, in July, he acquired Bayou City Broadcasting, which has television stations in Evansville, Indiana and Lafayette, Louisiana, which cost a whopping $165 million.
Allen is caught in a major lawsuit with Comcast. He claims that the company refused to carry his channels because of his race as Blavity previously reported.
If Comcast wins the November 13 Supreme Court case, it would set a dangerous precedent. The law in dispute is the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which gave Black people equal rights in contracts after the Civil War. If the Supreme Court rules in Comcast's favor, Black people would have to prove that race was the sole factor in why a company did not sign a contract, Blavity reports.
Allen already has deals with Verizon FiOS, DirecTV, AT&T/U-Verse and Dish Network, according to Variety. Allen says Comcast repeatedly lowballed him in negotiations and disrespected him because of his race.
Allen has been at war with Comcast since he filed a $20 billion lawsuit against them in 2015. According to Forbes, he owns a movie studio, The Weather Channel, syndicated shows and several cable networks.