Sinclair Revenues Up 66%, But Sports Revenue Remains Weak

Although ad declines hit Sinclair Broadcast Group hard -- especially for its newly acquired sports networks -- overall revenue soared 66% during its second quarter, due to higher distribution and carriage fees.

Revenue hit $1.3 billion for the period for the TV station group -- $616 million for its regional sports networks and $592 million for its TV stations. Sinclair also closed its deal for 21 regional sports networks (RSNs) and Fox College Sports in August 2019.

Net income grew to $273 million from $43 million. 

Chris Ripley, president-CEO of Sinclair, in an earnings release said: 

"The pandemic dampened advertising spending and resulted in the continued postponement of major sports league games. Advertising trends, however, did improve throughout the quarter, with the decline in June's advertising revenue versus the prior year period being roughly half the decline experienced in April.”

Overall distribution revenues nearly tripled, due to the acquisition of the RSNs to $1.0 billion. Broadcast TV stations posted $349 million, with its sports networks at $610 million.

Total advertising was at $235 million, almost all coming from its TV stations ($208 million) with its sports networks. There was very little live major sports content, at just $3 million.

For the next quarter, Sinclair's guidance is that its TV stations will pull in between $298 million and $324 million in advertising revenue. It estimates its RSNs at $111 million to $116 million.

Sinclair’s political revenues grew to $19 million versus $3 million in the same period a year ago. It expects much stronger results -- between $77 million and $83 million -- for its third quarter, due to the presidential election and other spending on political races.


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