TV revenues up, radio flat for LBI


LBI Media (Liberman Broadcasting) reported that Q1 revenues were up 9% to $23.6 million. The gain was all on the television side, while radio revenues were flat.

“Estrella TV, our national television network, continues to perform in line with our expectations while also securing further distribution gains. Since mid-April, we have reached agreements with two additional affiliates in Greensboro, North Carolina and Omaha, Nebraska, the nation’s 53rd and 71st largest Hispanic markets in the US, respectively. Upon completion of our purchase of television station assets in Denver and Chicago, Estrella TV will be distributed in 32 markets covering over 75% of U.S. Hispanic television households. We have a number of other affiliation agreements pending and we expect that Estrella TV will continue to grow its distribution across the US,” said LBI President and CEO Lenard Liberman.
“As previously mentioned, in March, Estrella TV successfully debuted as a Nielsen rated broadcast network. Estrella TV currently ranks a solid fourth among the many nationally rated Spanish language television networks and continues to hold that position in prime time. In fact, on several evenings over the past several weeks, Estrella TV has beaten Telefutura to take the third place rank among certain demographics. As we add to our affiliates in key Hispanic markets and improve our distribution platform, we expect our ratings to improve,” Liberman said of the new TV network.

“Our focus for the balance of 2010 is sustaining the momentum generated during the first quarter and building upon our successes. We will continue to strengthen our lineup by introducing new and innovative programming, pursue additional opportunities for expanding the distribution of Estrella TV and effectively utilize our radio and TV broadcasting assets to drive increased revenue and ratings performance,” said the CEO.

Q1 television revenues rose 21.5% to $11.8 million. That was credited to incremental revenue from the new Estrella TV network, as well as growth at the company’s O&O stations in California and Texas.

Radio revenues were flat for the quarter at $11.8 million.

Despite the costs associated with the network startup, total operating expenses increased by only 2.7%, or a half million dollars, to $19 million for the quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA shot up 30% to $7.1 million. However, $1.6 million of that $1.7 million improvement was from assignment of an asset purchase agreement related to KDES-FM Riverside-San Bernardino.