Southern Cross Austereo has formally revealed to the ASX it is in discussions with WIN Corporation for the sale of its northern NSW television assets and operations to WIN while it will acquire WIN’s i98FM Wollongong radio station.
SCA broadcasts Network Ten programming into television licence area with an affiliation agreement running until June 2021. WIN has the affiliation for Ten programming for the rest of the east coast – Victoria, southern NSW and Queensland.
SCA will retain its ability to sell advertising in all east coast regional markets via its sales agreement for the northern NSW channel NBN which is owned by Nine.
The acquisition of i98 would add to SCA’s 68 regional radio stations, adding one of Australia’s biggest regional markets to its network.
The value of regional television assets have been questioned recently with FTA metro licence holders broadcasting their digital signals state-wide. However the number of people watching live broadcast TV on digital devices remains small.
Regional TV licences rarely change hands, which makes historical comparisons hard to find. The previous owner of NBN sold to the Nine Network in 2007 for a reported $250m.