walt_disney_304 The New York Post is reporting the Walt Disney Company is looking into selling its eight owned and operated stations.

With station groups like Sinclair Broadcasting buying up local stations left and right, local affiliates are quickly becoming the new hot property. The Post said the move could be worth billions.

In July, Tribune paid $2.73 billion for 19 stations owned by Local TV, while Sinclair paid $985 million for seven Allbritton-owned stations. Earlier, Gannett bought Belo and its 20 stations for $1.5 billion.

There has been a wave of consolidation as companies buy up TV stations to reap the rising “retransmission” fees cable companies and other distributors cough up for the right to carry broadcast signals.

The more stations a company owns, the more leverage it has when it enters negotiations with pay-TV providers such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

In September, CBS president and CEO Les Moonves told analysts that the local station business is better than ever. Read more