“We’re still the most powerful force on the face of the earth,” was the declaration from Sinclair TV group COO Steve Marks as he expressed confidence that television will grab share as advertisers return to the marketplace.
In the quarterly conference call by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Marks told analysts that advertisers understand the importance of television and will pay the freight to get on the air, even as pricing increases in the recovery. TV advertising is, he noted, a supply and demand business – and advertisers know that.
While declining to discuss Q2 pacings after telling The Street that Q1 is expected to be up double digits, Marks noted that March has been accelerating, “which leads us to believe that we can parlay that into the first month of Q2.”
With auto advertising picking up, Marks is particularly excited about prospects for Toyota. “I think Toyota’s going to be a huge opportunity for the broadcast field, because it’s very clear that they’re going to have to spend an enormous amount of money to try to correct their image. Their image was safety. We expect them to be an enormous advertiser as the year goes on,” Marks said in response to a question from an analyst. “We’ve handled very, very little cancellations from them,” he added.
“I think it’s very clear that if they are going to turn this thing around, they’re going to use our medium and they’re going to use it extensively,” Marks said.
RBR-TVBR observation: Belo, Allbritton and Sinclair – the three pure play TV companies to report quarterly financials thus far – have all posted strong results. The ad recession nightmare, it seems, is over. No doubt Les Moonves will be a happy camper when he reports CBS earnings on Thursday afternoon.