One Week Into Q3, SBS’s Q1 Results Arrive


MIAMI — Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) was prevented from releasing its first quarter 2020 results per its normal schedule.

Late Monday, SBS released its financial results through March 31.

What’s the story for the Hispanic multimedia company? Radio revenue slipped year-over-year ahead of a tremendous surge in consumption for its heritage station in the nation’s biggest market.

SBS’s consolidated net revenue for Q1 slipped by 3%, to $36.28 million, from $37.36 million. The dip is due to radio: division radio revenue declined by 5%, to $32.53 million from $34.08 million.

SBS enjoys using the non-GAAP measure of operating income before depreciation and amortization, or “OIBDA.” On an adjusted basis, consolidated OIBDA fell by 9%, to $7.54 million. Radio adjusted OIBDA was down 6%, to $10.26 million, while TV OIBDA declined by 25% to $103,000.

“While our first quarter results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to make operational and strategic progress,” Raúl Alarcón, SBS’s founder and Chairman/CEO, said in prepared comments.

He was quick to note the current ratings success for its stations in New YorkLos Angeles and Chicago. In Gotham, Tropical WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9” soared to record-setting ratings not seen for a Spanish-language station in New York since Howard Stern ruled the Big Apple as a WXRK-FM morning host. WXRK long ago disappeared; Stern has been a part of Sirius (and now SiriusXM) for 15 years. 

“This strong showing, together with our expanding digital and social media metrics, drove notable aggregate audience growth in the quarter,” Alarcón said.

Q1 2020 also saw SBS take a $14.1 million impairment charge, as its net loss widened to $14.33 million (54 cents) from $3.93 million ($1.95).