Word is that Fox Television is no longer said to be interested in Tribune stations that Nexstar is going to be spinning off.
Bloomberg reports that Fox is focusing instead on getting better terms on the deals it has with affiliate stations, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
Unlike other bidders, Fox owns the rights to popular programming like NFL games, giving the company clout in negotiations with station owners.
With Fox out, Nexstar will be evaluating other bidders for the roughly 16 stations, located in cities such as Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington. Other suitors include Tegna Inc., E.W. Scripps Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC, people familiar with the matter have said.
Nexstar needs to dispose of the assets, about five of which are Fox affiliates, to complete its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co.
Once that takeover is complete, Fox will need to consent to the transfer of its affiliates to a new owner. And Nexstar will need to renew some 50 Fox affiliate agreements within the next year. That puts the Murdoch-controlled media company in a strong position to secure better terms from the parties.
In other words, Fox is going to make Uncle Perry pay through the nose.