Scripps 1Q TV Station Revenue Grows 5.4%
The E.W. Scripps Co. today reported that its television station revenues in the first quarter of 2014 were up 5.4% to $102 million, driven by strong local advertising, retransmission revenue growth and higher-than-expected political advertising revenue of $2.7 million as well as $1.7 million in incremental 2014 Winter Olympics advertising on its three NBC-affiliated stations.
Retransmission fees from cable and satellite providers increased 19.5% to $12.5 million. In 2014, the company will renegotiate retransmission agreements covering more than one-third of its subscribers.
Advertising revenue broken down by category was:
- Local, up 3.7% to $55.6 million.
- National, down 5.5% to $25.4 million.
- Political, $2.7 million compared to $300,000 in the 2013 quarter.
- Retransmission fees, up 19.5% to $12.5 million
- Digital revenue increased 17% to $4.4 million.
Profit in the television division was $21 million, up 27.2% from $16.5 million in the year-ago quarter.
The company has a whole reported consolidated revenues of $204 million, up 2.6% or $5.1 million, primarily due to the increases in retransmission revenue, political advertising and newspaper subscription revenue.
Commenting on the results, Scripps Chairman, President and CEO Rich Boehne said: “The political season already has been good to us. A better-than-expected kick-off from a special election in Florida helped drive up television operating revenues, which also were boosted by a strong local advertising climate and a rise in retransmission revenue.
“In the newspaper division, we saw a third consecutive quarter of subscription revenue growth coming from our print and digital subscription bundles along with targeted price increases. Despite the slight decline in operating revenues, segment profit also increased.
“Our digital team oversaw the launch of what could be the first paid digital content service in the broadcast TV industry. Following investments in content, functionality and sales infrastructure, we’re now able to use the WCPO.com Insider service in Cincinnati to better test and model the opportunity for local television brands. This service will let us better meet the needs and desires of our digital-only media consumers. We’re off to a great start and already learning lessons about how to better build value in TV markets through digital services.”