Sinclair 1Q Revenue Climbs 47.8%
Sinclair Broadcast Group reported today that in the three months ended March 31 its net broadcast revenues from continuing operations increased 47.8% to $373.9 million, versus $252.9 million in the prior year period.
Operating income was $81 million, an increase of 27.2% versus $63.7 million a year ago.
Local net broadcast revenues, which include local time sales, retransmission revenues and other broadcast revenues, were up 49.6% versus the first quarter of 2013, while national net broadcast revenues, which include national time sales and other national broadcast revenues, were up 40.9% versus the first quarter of 2013.
Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues increased 49.3% and national net broadcast revenues increased 32.6% versus the first quarter of 2013.
Political revenues were $6.1 million versus $900,000 in the first quarter of 2013. The Super Bowl, which aired on Sinclair’s 31 Fox stations, generated $8.2 million in revenues versus $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 when it aired on the company’s 11 CBS stations. The Olympics, which aired on Sinclair’s 12 NBC stations, generated $3.7 million in the first quarter of 2014.
Sinclair said its fastest growing advertising categories included services, medical, schools and furniture. Categories that declined were direct response and weather-sensitive categories including retail, fast food, restaurants and automotive.
Sinclair President-CEO David Smith said: “There were many positives in the first quarter that reflect our solid underlying fundamentals, despite the slower than usual start to the year due to the impact of the severe and frigid weather in many of our markets.
“The first quarter benefited from incremental Super Bowl, Olympic and retransmission consent fee revenues, while political revenues exceeded expectations. We also benefited from lower television operating expenses across many of our stations.
“Our main focus now is on closing the Allbritton station acquisition and lobbying to reform broadcast ownership regulatory inequality,” Smith added.