Market Overview

What We Know About AT&T's Potential Interest In Selling Sports Networks

What We Know About AT&T's Potential Interest In Selling Sports Networks

Telecom and media giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is rumored to be looking at selling off its sports networks to help trim as much as $8 billion of debt, Bloomberg's Nabila Ahmed said on Tuesday's "Bloomberg Markets: The Close."

What Happened

AT&T is likely looking to sell assets to help pay off between $6 billion and $8 billion of debt by the end of the year, Ahmed said. The company has achieved $3.5 billion of that goal so far and is now looking at all of its assets with this key question in mind, she said:  “What can we do without?” 

The telecom is actively exploring a sale of four sports networks that cover around a dozen teams, Ahmed said. 

Some of the teams include recent back-to-back NHL champions Pittsburgh Penguins and the NBA's Houston Rockets. 

The package is "not as attractive" compared to the regional sports networks Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) recently divested to Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc (NASDAQ: SBGI), Ahmed said. 

Why It's Important

Sinclair could take a look at AT&T's sports assets, although its pending purchase of certain Disney sports assets has yet to be approved by regulatory bodies, according to Bloomberg. 

Three Democratic presidential candidates — Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — urged the FCC and Justice Department in a letter to look at the deal, saying it could increase costs to consumers.

Nevertheless, AT&T has motivation to shed sports assets to "get rid of the high costs" associated with live sports, Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner told Bloomberg.

What's Next

AT&T has not officially confirmed its interest in selling the sports networks and there is no guarantee a deal will be announced.

The stock was trading higher by 0.21% at $33.92 at the time of publication Wednesday. 

Related Links:

BofA Bullish On AT&T: 'The Network Has Never Performed Better'

Report: Sinclair To Buy Regional Sports Networks From Disney

Public domain photo via Wikimedia

Posted-In: Bloomberg Nabila AhmedNews Rumors Asset Sales Sports Media General Best of Benzinga


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