The biggest owner of U.S. TV stations, Nexstar Media Group, continues to grow -- again, the biggest TV station group in terms of annual revenue -- up 10% in 2021 to $3.97 billion, according to BIA Advisory Services.While Nexstar witnessed lower advertising revenue -- down to nearly $1.9 billion (from $2.1 billion in 2020, due to a strong political advertising season), retransmission revenue rose to $2.1 billion (from $1.5 billion).
In second place -- pending the closure of its deal for Tegna station group -- is Standard General with a combined $2.7 billion in revenues in 2021, $1.32 billion in advertising and $1.38 billion in retransmission fees.
Gray Television ($2.6 billion), Sinclair Broadcast Group ($2.53 billion), and Fox ($2.50 billion) complete the top five highest TV station groups.
The next three spots go to three big broadcast network-owned TV station groups -- CBS ($2.3 billion), NBC ($2.1 billion), and ABC ($1.5 billion).
Nexstar also leads all TV stations in each revenue category -- advertising and retransmission. Second place in advertising is Gray Television ($1.5 billion) and for retransmission revenues, Sinclair ($1.6 billion).
Nexstar also leads in overall actual U.S. reach -- 68%, this coming from stations in 115 markets. EW Scripps -- which sits in ninth place in terms of overall revenue -- is next at 65% actual reach from station coverage in 73 markets.
Among the big broadcast network groups, Fox is at 39% actual reach from 18 markets, followed by CBS (38%, 18 markets; NBC (38%, 31 markets); and ABC (22%, 8 markets.)
Boosting their market coverage and overall reach, some of the biggest U.S. TV station groups -- Nexstar and Sinclair for example -- have duopoly partnerships, joint services agreements and/or shared services agreements -- with other TV station groups.