Scripps Expects 15% Growth In 2023 TV Station, Local Media Distribution Revenue

TV stations' distribution revenues coming from pay TV carriage fees will grow 15% for the full year, according to E.W. Scripps, to $750 million.

Overall, the company sees a 40% increase in net distribution revenues from renewals of carriage agreements that expanded the number of TV stations to which Scripps is paid a distribution fee -- as well as from Scripps Network businesses.

It has completed carriage deals, accounting for 75% of its subscriber households -- with only 5% of its cable/satellite households renewing in 2024 and in around 20% range in 2025.

The growth in TV stations' distribution revenues, says Adam Symson, president and CEO of Scripps, reflects well on the linear TV station business, in contrast to the struggles of new digital TV services: “[It] is a testament to the durable economics of the linear TV marketplace at a time when most streaming services themselves are unprofitable,” he said, in a release.



The gain in distribution revenue for Scripps would be an improvement versus a year ago. The company witnessed distribution revenues climbing 6.2% for its full year 2022 to $655.5 million.

At the same time, its core advertising revenue was down 5.7% to $626.1 million. Mid-term political advertising was $198.5 million in 2022, versus a non mid-term/presidential election 2021 year ending at $22.7 million.

Scripps did not reveal projections for 2023 advertising revenues. Scripps continues to move more into sports programming for its TV stations, as many troubled regional sports networks are looking to leave the business.

Symson added: “We successfully negotiated to receive new distribution fees for television stations carrying local and regional sports.”

And there is more to come. “We fully expect to partner with distributors and garner distribution fees for the carriage of live sports.” Scripps local media business segment includes 61 local broadcast stations and digital operations.

Scripps Networks has nine national TV networks.

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