TV station group Tegna says its first-quarter preliminary advertising revenues will post another strong period -- up 9%. This follows big gains in the fourth quarter last year due to higher political advertising.
Tegna says advertising and marketing revenues have returned to “pre-pandemic levels” and were “stronger-than-expected.” The increase would place ad revenues at $321.8 million. First-quarter 2020 advertising revenue was $295.2 million.
Overall preliminary first-quarter revenue is expected to grow 6%. A year ago, total revenues were $684 million.
In additional to growing advertising, Tegna made gains from subscription revenue, which "allowed us to achieve leading Big Four affiliate retransmission rates." It reiterated net subscription profits were to grow in the mid- to-high 20% range for all of 2021.
Tegna’s fourth-quarter ad results follow what most TV station groups witnessed in the last three months of 2020 -- strong advertising results from political messages in a presidential election year.
In the fourth quarter, Tegna’s core advertising and marketing revenue was down 6% to $352 million, due to political advertising preemptions during the period. Looking just at political ad spend, the station group pulled in $264 million -- up from $24 million in the year-ago period.