Broadcast TV, Radio Station Deals Slow Down In First-Half 2015

TV and radio station deals have slowed down dramatically in the first six months of this year.

In that time, TV and radio station deals totaled just $343.8 million compared to $5.3 billion -- just 6% of the total for the first half of 2014, according to SNL Kagan.

The slowdown can largely be attributed to the rush of major TV station group deals in 2014 -- including LIN Media and Media General's $2.5 billion merger announcement in March and the 21st Century Fox TV station swap with Cox Media Group in June valued at $859.3 million.

Other medium-sized deals included Granite Broadcasting's 11-station sale for $300 million in February; Graham Holdings' sale of NBC-affiliate WPLG Miami to Berkshire Hathaway for $364 million in March; and Gannett Co.’s purchase of London Broadcasting’s six stations in Texas for $215 million in May.



Looking at just the second quarter of 2015, total broadcast station deals were valued at $223.3 million, with radio stations at $125.1 million and TV station deals worth around $98.2 million. This is about twice the overall level of the first quarter of 2015, which sat at $120.5 million. 

Still, while the second quarter improved more than the first quarter of 2015, both periods collectively are still way down from a year ago. 

Purchasing cash-flow multiples has not changed in three years for broadcast properties -- around eight times the earnings before interest depreciation taxes and amortization (EBIDTA) for TV stations and six to seven times for radio stations.

So far, the TV market has registered five transactions above the $10 million mark, four of them in the second quarter. 

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