Choate Represents Tennis Channel in $350M Sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Choate Press Release
| March 15, 2016
Choate today announced that it represented Tennis Channel in its sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) for $350 million. The deal, which was announced on January 27, 2016, closed on March 1, 2016.
The Choate deal team was led by partner Christopher Nelson, and included partner Timothy Becker, counsel Jonathan Gabriel, and associates Jason Lawler and Wells Miller. Nelson has been involved with the Tennis Channel for a number of years, initially advising on the first institutional investment in Tennis Channel by Bain Capital, Battery Ventures, Columbia Capital, and J.P. Morgan in 2003, and became company counsel to Tennis Channel in 2005. Since then, Nelson has represented the company though numerous rounds of financing, “equity for carriage” transactions, several debt financings, and assorted other transactions prior to this sale.
“It has been exciting and rewarding to be involved with this company and its management team from the very early stages, to watch it grow and evolve into a market leader in its space through to this exit. The sale to SBGI was a complex transaction with a large group of shareholders and some complicated economic issues, but we were able to get a deal done that was a win-win for everyone,” said Nelson. Nelson is one of three partners who recently joined Choate’s Private Equity practice group, joining with Steve Meredith and Sarah Camougis. All three have decades of experience handling telecom and media deals for private equity sponsors and strategics.
Launched on May 15, 2003, Tennis Channel is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. It has rights to 90% of all the televised tennis in the U.S. with the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television including telecast rights at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 video providers.
“In Sinclair we have found the perfect owner-partner to accelerate scaling the Tennis Channel brand and our sport’s expanding fan-base to the next level,” added Ken Solomon, CEO of Tennis Channel. “Sinclair’s unique size and position in the media ecosystem will facilitate significant distribution growth towards parity with our competitive set and expand our brand’s assets and unique value as the go-to destination for all things tennis in the U.S. and beyond.”