BALTIMORE, March 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI) today announced that it has established a multimillion-dollar emergency fund to offer financial support to nearly 1,000 eligible freelancers who work across its FOX Regional Sports Networks, as well as the Marquee Sports Network. As part of the fund, all eligible freelancers will be able to receive an immediate $2,500 interest-free advance beginning on Friday, April 3rd. The fund is being launched in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has indefinitely halted the production of live sports, depriving these freelancers of work.
"This is an unprecedented time for the world and the media, but few in our industry are feeling the impacts of the coronavirus more than those who work in sports," said Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley. "Across the nation, these nearly 1,000 freelancers work tirelessly season after season to bring fans the best in live sports. As we face this extraordinary event, we are hoping that this fund will provide integral assistance to our key team members."
The $2,500 interest free advance is for eligible freelancers who have worked regularly on a regional sports network's games in a home market last year. The advance can be made up in small deductions once the games return.
"Clearly we are in uncharted waters, but hopefully the ability to immediately draw from this fund will make a real difference for our dedicated production community," said Jeff Krolik, Sinclair's president of local sports. "We expect that the postponement of games is indeed just that -- a postponement -- and that ultimately the games will be played."
Sinclair is a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 23 regional sports network brands; owns, operates and/or provides services to 191 television stations in 89 markets; is a leading local news provider in the country; owns multiple national networks; and has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks. Sinclair's content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.