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.