Television station transactions exploded in 2013, because the healthy TV environment in 2012 bolstered investor confidence, according to BIA/Kelsey. Nearly 300 TV stations were sold in 2013. That number of transactions is up 205% from 2012. Likewise, the total sale valuation for television stations were up – a 367% increase in 2013 from 2012 for over $8 billion.
What made it healthy? Strong political advertising revenues from the previous year, retransmission consent revenues and continued historically lower interest rates were all contributing factors to this strong showing in the television station acquisition market.
The largest transaction of the year were the 11 stations bought by the Tribune Company in June for $2.7 billion. “This year we expect the transactions to slow down slightly from the incredible amount of activity last year,” said Mark Fratrik, Vice President of BIA/Kelsey.
Radio transactions were flat both in term of the number of stations sold and the total value. According to BIA/Kelsey, there was a great deal of consistency and few large transactions. The largest transaction of the year were the 53 stations sold by Cumulus Media to Townsquare Media LLC in August, estimated to be $238 million. Overall, radio’s continued position in the marketplace is encouraging existing groups to grow and some new groups to enter. They anticipate that 2014 will bring a slight increase as the economy gathers some strength.