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Sinclair will buy 21 Disney sports networks in a deal valued at more than $10 billion

Key Points
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest U.S. broadcast station owner, has reached a deal valued at more than $10 billion to buy 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney.
  • The Wall Street Journal first reported the news, which has since been confirmed to CNBC by sources close to the situation.
  • The deal reached by Sinclair, which would include sports channels in Los Angeles and Detroit, is expected to be announced as early as Friday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Signage stands outside the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. headquarters in Cockeysville, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. 
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest U.S. broadcast station owner, has reached a deal valued at more than $10 billion to buy 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney.

The deal, which would include sports channels in Los Angeles and Detroit, is expected to be announced as early as Friday, sources told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal on Thursday. That agreement has since been confirmed to CNBC by sources close to the situation.

Disney and Sinclair were not immediately available for comment.

Disney acquired the sports networks as part of its $71 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox's film and television assets.

The company agreed to sell the networks after the U.S. Justice Department said Disney, which owns cable sports network ESPN, must divest the Fox networks that provide sports programming for regional and local markets.

Disney closed the acquisition of Fox's film and television assets in March, nearly a year after it won a bidding war against cable company Comcast.

The potential deal for Disney's sports networks would come after Tribune Media terminated the sale of 42 TV stations in 33 markets to Sinclair last year.

Other suitors for Disney's channels included Liberty Media and Big 3 Basketball, whose management includes Jeff Kwatinetz and rapper and actor Ice Cube, according to the Wall Street Journal.

—CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.