The decrease to $685 million is tagged to political, which couldn’t be offset by a 64% gain in digital revenue.
Sinclair Broadcast Group this morning reported that its fourth quarter media revenues, before barter, decreased 5.7% to $685.4 million versus $726.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Breaking down the 4Q media revenue:
- Political revenues were $16 million in the fourth quarter versus $113 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, a presidential election year.
- Revenues from digital offerings increased 64%, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.
The company’s 4Q total revenues decreased 8% to $734.0 million, versus $797.7 million in the prior year period which included $113 million of political advertising in the 2016 presidential election year.
Sinclair’s 4Q operating income was $357.6 million, including $15 million of transaction, legal and other one-time costs, and $9 million in one-time bonuses to our employees as a result of favorable tax reform legislation, versus operating income of $233.4 million in the prior year period.
The company’s net income was was $443.5 million versus net income of $120.9 million in the prior year period
Diluted earnings per common share were $4.32 as compared to $1.32 in the prior year period.
For the full year, Sinclair’s total declined 0.1% to $2.734 billion, versus $2.737 billion in the prior year period which included $199 million of political advertising in the 2016 presidential election year.
David Smith, executive chairman, commented: “As we begin 2018, there are many positive events we are looking forward to driving value for the company and the industry. Among them are the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of ATSC 3.0 (the Next Generation Broadcast Platform) and certain deregulatory rulemakings relating to local market and national ownership rules, both of which are important for the broadcast industry’s long-term outlook.
“We are confident the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax reform legislation will result in a favorable effect through the many small and medium sized local businesses we support on the advertising front.
“Meanwhile, we continue to work with the required governmental agencies towards the successful acquisition of Tribune Media Company, expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.”
And Chris Ripley, president-CEO, said: “The fourth quarter 2017 performance was better than expected with results that exceeded our previously provided guidance for key financial metrics, after adjusting for transaction, legal and other one-time charges.
“While first quarter of 2018 is off to a slower than expected start due to our low percentage of NBC affiliates which is the network that aired the Super Bowl and Olympics, we are looking forward to growth drivers from the upcoming mid-term elections and the positive effects from tax reform and a growing economy.”
Read the company’s report here.