Q3 revenues were up 21.1% for Nexstar Broadcasting to a record $73.1 million. And even excluding the political windfall revenues were up double digits.
Core advertising, excluding political, gained 12% to $56.7 million. Local rose 11.8% to $41.7 million and national gained 12.7% to $15 million. CEO Perry Sook told analysts that core business is also pacing up double digits for Q4.
Political revenues shot up 564.7% to $6.7 million from only $1 million a year earlier. Sook said political for Q4 is expected to be up more than 30% from the $16.7 million generated in the first nine months of 2010, which would push full-year 2010 political revenues past the 2008 level of $32.9 million by over 19%.
Sook was clearly excited by the multiple revenue streams that Nexstar has developed in addition to its traditional TV spot business. “While Nexstar’s core television revenue growth remains impressive, we continue to create new value based on the further expansion of our ‘quadruple play’ of revenue drivers which include traditional media, subscription based revenue, mobile and e-Media, and station management agreements. In aggregate, Nexstar’s third quarter retransmission fee, mobile and e-Media and management fee revenue rose 23.9% to $12.0 million, and these higher margin revenue streams accounted for 16.5% of 2010 third quarter net revenue,” the CE said.
Retrans fees were up 22.5% to $7.7 million and e-Media revenues rose 20.6% to $3.6 million. Management fee revenue from its deal to manage the Four Points Media group rose 60.1% to $800K. Sook noted that the Four Points group hit its financial target for all of 2010 in just nine months, so Nexstar will be raking in substantial bonus payments from the management deal in Q4.
Station operating expenses were up only slightly in Q3 for Nexstar, so broadcast cash flow jumped 54.5% to $28.8 million.