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Sinclair CEO: ‘There is Significant Value’ in a National Rollout of NewsChannel 8

Sinclair Broadcast Group president and CEO David Smith says there is “significant value” in expanding NewsChannel 8, Allbritton’s regional cable channel in Washington, D.C., to other markets. Smith discussed the possibility this morning in remarks to investors, Broadcasting & Cable‘s Michael Malone reports:

“Because Allbritton has limited reach, the channel has yet to be fully developed outside the D.C. area,” Smith said. “We believe we have a distinct opportunity to accomplish that.”

Smith described NewsChannel 8 as a “launching point” for a national news channel, airing both within the Sinclair group and on MVPD systems for a “unique hybrid model.” Smith threw out a $300 million figure for incremental revenue garnered from the MVPDs for carriage, using CNN’s 57 cents a sub as a model.

“The takeaway is, we believe there is significant value we can unlock when we couple the cable channel with the rest of our news channels and roll it out to more than just D.C.,” said Smith.

In a statement announcing Sinclair’s acquisition of Allbritton’s eight stations, Smith said he was “especially excited” about the addition of NewsChannel8.

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