Sinclair Benefits From Station Sales, Revs Jump 32%

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the big Baltimore-based 134 TV station group, took in high revenue from its continuing operations in the first three months of this year.

Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $252.9 million for the first quarter -- a bump of 32.5%. Net income, however, dropped almost half of its amount from a year ago -- to $17 million from $29.4 million.

Sinclair benefitted during the period from a number of TV station sales.

In addition, in February 2013, Sinclair entered into agreements to acquire four TV stations' assets from Cox Media Group and 18 TV stations from Barrington Broadcasting. In April, it entered into an agreement to acquire 20 stations from Fisher Communications.

On a same-station basis, excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were up 7.1%, while national net broadcast revenues were down 1.4%, versus the first quarter of 2012. Political revenues were $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2013 versus $3.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Looking at all stations -- excluding political revenues -- local net broadcast revenues were up 33.2% and national net broadcast revenues were up 40.0% in the first quarter of 2013 versus the first quarter of 2012.

Major advertising categories growth -- on a same-station basis -- came from telecommunications, retail and direct-response. Categories that went in the other direction were services, schools, medical, and restaurants.

Looking ahead, Sinclair expects that excluding the acquisitions, same-station net broadcast revenues in the second quarter of 2013 are estimated to be up 4.9% to 6.0% versus the second quarter of 2012 -- and up 10.1% to 11.2%, excluding political.

Overall net broadcast revenues from continuing operations, before barter, is expected to be approximately $277.0 million to $279.3 million -- up 27.3% to 28.4% in the second quarter.



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