Sinclair Looks to Political to Boost Earnings


SBG / Sinclair Broadcast GroupNet income for Sinclair Broadcast Group fell 39 percent to $58.2 million in Sinclair Broadcast Group’s fourth quarter, coming in at 61 cents per share. During the same period last year, the broadcaster posted net income of $95.4 million, or 98 cents per share.

The results missed analyst expectations, however the company is looking ahead to political advertising revenue ad higher retransmission consent revenues for a brighter Q1.

The lack of political revenues in 2015 depressed sales by around $68.5 million, the company reported. Sinclair also took a $9.3 million one-time expense to terminate an inherited pension plan.

For the quarter, media revenues were $545.9 million (down 2%) and revenues from barter were $31.4M (down 13.8%). Net debt was $3.704 billion at year’s end, vs. the prior quarter’s $3.772B. Capex was $18.9 million.

EVP/CEO David Amy touted the recent $350 million Tennis Channel acquisition in an earnings call with analysts, saying “unlike most cable nets, which are … challenged” Tennis is an established brand that is under-distributed. Through Sinclair’s relationship with the MVPDs, the company has secured a carriage increase from 30 million homes to 50 million, “which will positively impact the revenue and EBITDA over the next 18 months.”