Sinclair scores a Q1 touchdown


SBG / Sinclair Broadcast GroupThe Super Bowl was one of the reasons rapidly-expanding Sinclair Television Group was able to post better than 7% gains in same-station local revenue – and the numbers are much bigger than that when simply comparing dollars to dollars.

Overall, the company brought in $252.9M in net broadcast revenue, a 32.5% gain over the same quarter in 2012. Operating income was $63.7M, up 6.3%.

CEO David Smith noted that the Super Bowl alone was good for $2.5M in income. He commented, “2013 is off to a solid start with $2.5 million of incremental Super Bowl revenues in the first quarter, increased ad spending by our largest advertising category of automotive, and a very good February ratings book that highlighted the importance and popularity of local news. The market for television stations remains robust, and we are pleased that we have been able to obtain quality assets at accretive prices. We are excited the Barrington Broadcasting, Fisher Communications and certain of the COX Media Group stations will soon be joining us. We intend to continue analyzing and evaluating opportunities to acquire additional television station assets towards creating greater scale for our operations and value for our shareholders.”

Overall, local was up 32.8% in Q1 and national was up 31.5%. On a same station basis, excluding the political category (which decreased from $3.6M to $900K YOY), local was up 7.1% and national was down 1.4%.

Strong advertising categories included automotive, telecommunications, retail, and direct response. Categories showing weakness included services, schools, medical, and restaurants.