Gray Television isn’t the biggest television group out there, but according to Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo Securities, it can make a claim that puts it at the very top of the television station group business.
Here’s the boast: In 40 of its 44 markets, it operates either the #1 or the #2 station – a record unmatched by any other television group.
Ryvicker said this positions the group very well when it comes to raking in political cash, and it provides leverage when it comes time to negotiate retransmission consent.
At an investor conference, Gray painted the full retrans picture for full year 2014. It’s expecting to rake in a total of $85M, and pay out $24M of it in reverse compensation to the networks. That works out to a net of $61M. All numbers are pro forma.
The immediate future bodes well for the margin – three of its network reverse comp deals run through 2019, and the other, with Fox, is good until 2017.
Gray is looking forward to the 2016 presidential election year, fully expecting to increase its 2012 take of $118M in political income.