E.W. Scripps, a prominent local TV broadcaster in the United States, has recently announced that it has engaged a financial advisor to assess the interest from potential buyers in acquiring Bounce TV, its over-the-air network focused on African American viewers. The decision to consider a sale comes after Paramount Global’s attempt to sell BET Media Group last year, which eventually did not materialize. Since then, several parties, many of them led by Black individuals, have shown interest in acquiring Bounce TV from Scripps, according to CEO Adam Symson in an exclusive interview with CNBC.

Should E.W. Scripps decide to pursue a sale of Bounce TV, it aims to attract offers in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars, as suggested by sources familiar with the matter. The company’s stock currently trades at around $3.70 per share, with a market valuation of approximately $315 million. However, the stock has seen a significant decline of over 50% this year due to concerns surrounding pay-TV cancellations impacting the audience for broadcast networks.

Symson refrained from disclosing the names of potential bidders or the expected price for Bounce TV but indicated that the volume of inquiries and discussions from interested parties has substantially increased over the past year. The previous attempt to sell BET Media Group might have shed light on the potential of Bounce TV, making it an attractive prospect for investors.

Value Proposition

Advertising agencies and major brands often allocate funding specifically for minority-owned businesses, which can enhance the value of media assets transitioning from conglomerates to Black owners. Bounce TV could also offer a platform for showcasing a diverse range of content from Black creators, further adding to its appeal in the market.

Network Overview and Growth

Bounce TV, established in 2011, operates as a free over-the-air network delivering a mix of syndicated programs, movies, and original content tailored for African American audiences. The network’s lineup includes popular shows like “Johnson” and the upcoming comedy series “Mind Your Business.”

Financial Performance and Audience Reach

While specific financial details about Bounce TV were not disclosed, Symson mentioned that Scripps has managed to double the network’s revenue since acquiring it as part of the Katz Networks takeover in 2017. In terms of viewership, Bounce TV has seen a 14% increase in linear and a 9% increase in connected TV audiences in the first quarter. Around 70% of Bounce TV’s viewership comes from over-the-air viewers, with the remaining 30% from pay TV and streaming platforms.

The potential acquisition of Bounce TV by E.W. Scripps represents a strategic move to capitalize on the growing interest in Black-focused media properties. With a diverse range of content, an expanding audience base, and increased market visibility, Bounce TV could unlock significant value under new ownership. As discussions progress and potential buyers emerge, the future of Bounce TV as part of the Scripps portfolio remains an intriguing development to monitor in the media landscape.

Business

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