SBS: Q4 down 19% for radio, up 95% for TV


All in all, that worked out to a 12% revenue decline for Spanish Broadcasting System. CEO Raul Alarcon won’t have to deal with disgruntled investors in his quarterly conference calls anymore. He’s not conducting conference calls anymore. He’s also not giving any forward guidance.

“Our fourth quarter financial results were impacted by the national recession and industry-wide advertising slowdown, offset in part by the robust growth at MegaTV. Our TV operations exceeded our expectations during the quarter with 95% revenue growth over the prior year. We are continuing to build on MegaTV’s expanded distribution and ratings traction and we are successfully monetizing our growing audience shares. Our radio stations faced a very difficult operating environment during the quarter as advertisers decreased their budgets in the nation’s top markets. However, we continued to generate industry-leading audience shares across our portfolio. We also continued to seek avenues to reduce our operating expenses, while maintaining prudent levels of investment in our station brands, content and sales personnel. Looking ahead, the advertising market remains weak and visibility is limited, but we believe we are taking the right steps to position the company for growth over the long-term,” Alarcon said in announcing the Q4 results.

Radio revenues dropped 19% to $35 million in Q4. TV revenues, meanwhile, rose 95% to $5.9 million. That brought total revenues for the quarter to $40.9 million, a decline of 12%.

“Our radio segment had a decrease in net revenue primarily due to lower local and national sales caused mainly by the decline in economic conditions. The decrease in local sales occurred in all of our markets, excluding an increase in our Puerto Rico market. The decrease in national sales occurred in all of our markets. Our television segment continues to increase its advertising and content demand as our MegaTV content continues to increase its viewership. Our television segment net revenue growth was primarily due to the increases in local spot sales, subscriber revenue related to the DirecTV affiliation agreements, national sales, barter sales, and sponsorship sales,” SBS said.

Operating income before depreciation and amortization, gain on the disposal of assets, net, and impairment of FCC broadcasting licenses and restructuring costs, totaled $4.2 million, a decline of 41%. “This decrease was primarily attributed to the decrease of $2.5 million in our radio segment and an increased loss of $1.9 million in our television segment, offset by a decrease of $1.5 million in corporate expenses,” the company reported.

What about the future?

“Due to the limited visibility resulting from the current economic environment and the industry-wide advertising decline, we find it prudent to continue the suspension of our quarterly guidance at this time,” the statement said.