Q2 revenues from continuing operations were down 1.4% to 161.4 million for Sinclair Broadcast Group, with local down 0.8% and national off 9.2%, primarily because of weakness at the MyNetworkTV affiliates. But while it is a tough time for ad sales, Sinclair CEO David Smith was upbeat about retransmission consent deals. "We have now successfully closed on multi-year retransmission consent agreements with all of the major multi-channel video programming distributors in our markets, covering approximately 90% of the subscribers in our markets. We now estimate that our 2007 revenues from our retransmission consent agreements will be approximately 60.5 million, as compared to 25.4 million last year, a 138% increase.
For 2008, we expect this number to grow to approximately 66.0 million based on what we have under contract today." And of course, everyone in television is looking forward to the 2008 political windfall. But there are still two quarters to go in 2007. "We are currently forecasting our third quarter broadcast revenues to decline by 2.9 million to 4.7 million primarily due to tougher prime-time comps faced by the stations affiliated with MyNetworkTV, a continued soft Columbus, Ohio market, which is our largest market, and almost 2.0 million less in network compensation. While most broadcasters will be faced with having to replace last year's incremental political revenues, our ability to secure retransmission consent fee revenues is expected to more than offset the absence of political dollars in the third quarter," said Sinclair CFO David Amy.