Digital, distribution and political gains contributed to that increase to $643.7 million despite the lack of Olympics and Super Bowl revenue that boosted it in 2017.
Sinclair Broadcast Group this morning reported that its first quarter media revenues increased 6% to $643.7 million versus $607.1 million in 1Q 2017.
Breaking down the 1Q media revenue:
- Political revenues were $7 million, up from $2 million.
- Revenues from digital businesses grew 71% from a year ago.
- Distribution revenues were $314 million, up from $276 million.
The company’s 1Q total revenues increased 6.1% to $665.4 million, up from $626.9 million.
Sinclair’s 1Q operating income was $107.3 million, including $5 million of one-time transaction costs, versus $157.6 million in 1Q 2017 that included $53 million of gains on asset dispositions.
The company’s net income was $43.1 million compared to $57.2 million a year earlier.
Diluted earnings per common share were $0.42 as compared to $0.61 in the prior year period.
Chris Ripley, president-CEO, commented: “Our first quarter came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics. As expected and reflected in our first quarter guidance, advertising revenue was soft largely due to the lack of Olympics and Super Bowl on many of our stations and with the auto category coming off its recent highs from last year.
“Fortunately, our distribution revenues now make up approximately half our media revenues which makes our business model very resilient to ad market volatility. Furthermore, growth and initiative advances in digital, network, programmatic and addressable advertising are showing results and becoming larger contributors.
“Lastly, our acquisition of Tribune Media is now approaching the final stages with an anticipated closing in late second quarter/early third quarter of 2018, as we await governmental approvals.”
Read the company’s report here.