Fox Sports announced on Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement with Comcast Corp. to purchase the NBCUniversal and ESPN networks for the 2018-2019 television season.
The network will remain in the same parent company, Charter Communications Inc. Fox Sports is also purchasing rights to the MLB Network for next season, according to a statement from the network.
ESPN will remain under the Fox Sports umbrella.
The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year, is subject to regulatory approval, according the statement.
Fox News will continue as a standalone network.
Fox Sports said it will pay Comcast $1.1 billion for NBCUniversal’s NBCUniversal-owned broadcast and cable networks, including the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL.
Fox will also retain its 50% ownership in the ESPN-owned Fox Sports 1 and ESPN2 cable channels.
Comcast will receive $3.8 billion for its NBCUniversal networks.
Fox said the deal will not increase Comcast’s share of the $54.2 billion cable channel television market.
Comcast is also expected to receive $2 billion for the rights to NBC Sports Network.NBCUniversal and its parent company Charter Communications have been under pressure from antitrust regulators over their business practices, particularly in sports.
The companies have been accused of monopolizing the broadcast of major U.S. sports, including in the NFL and MLB.
The FCC has also sued Comcast in federal court in California to try to prevent it from blocking competitors from using its NBCU TV service, according in a filing last week.