TV Stations' Sales See Slight Uptick In 2017, But Total Value Down

Sales of TV stations increased slightly in 2017, but with lower overall value. Radio stations last year paced much higher in both areas.

There were 107 TV stations sold in 2017 -- up by 10 over the previous year. Total value dropped from $5.3 billion to $4.7 billion, according to BIA/Kelsey, a local advertising/marketing advisory company.

Radio witnessed much stronger gains -- largely due to Entrecom’s deal with CBS Radio. Total value was $3.3 billion versus $497 million the year before, with 755 stations sold -- 179 more than in 2016.

BIA/Kelsey says loose federal regulations could stir more merger-and-acquisition activity in 2018, especially around removing limits on the number of TV stations a group can own in terms of total U.S. households. This will also impact cross-ownership of local television-radio and local newspapers.

The advisory service says new tax legislation and a stronger economy may lead to increased activity of publicly traded broadcast companies, as well as privately held companies looking to expand.

In addition, with a lower overall corporate tax rate and full expensing of new capital equipment for five years, the values of broadcast stations are likely to increase.



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