Sinclair 1Q Media Revenue Hits $1.5B

Distribution and digital revenue push that total up 134%, while the company’s total revenue climbs 123% to $1.6 billion.

Sinclair Broadcast Group this morning reported that its first quarter 2020 media revenues grew 134% to $1.5 billion versus $673 million in 1Q 2019. Breaking down the media revenue:

  • Political revenues were $42 million versus $2 million in 1Q 2019.
  • Distribution revenues were $1.2 billion versus $352 million.
  • Revenues from digital businesses grew 38%

For the company as a whole, total revenue increased 123% to $1.6 billion versus $893 million in 1Q 2019.

The company reported net income of $123 million versus $22 million in the prior year period.

Operating income was a $327 million, including $20 million of non-recurring costs for transaction, legal, litigation, and regulatory costs, versus operating income of $94 million in the prior year period, which included $2 million of adjustments. Operating income when excluding the adjustments, increased to $347 million from $96 million for the same prior-year period.

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Diluted earnings per common share were $1.35 as compared to $0.23 in the prior year period.

Chris Ripley, president-CEO, said: “These are unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the economy, businesses and lifestyles in extraordinary and uncommon ways. Despite these macro challenges, Sinclair was quick to manage non-essential costs and provide for a smooth ‘work-from-home’ transition. We are confident that our diversified revenue streams, content, and delivery platforms will allow us to see our Company through the pandemic’s effects and that we will be able to meet our liquidity needs. Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, we have and continue to take steps to manage our costs including deferring non-critical capital expenditures, delaying non-essential hiring actions, and reducing discretionary expenses until conditions improve.”


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Ripley continued: “Furthermore, we have a social responsibility to help our communities and employees through these difficult times. In addition to the numerous charitable fundraising initiatives in which Sinclair outlets have participated in their local markets, raising millions of dollars, we have also partnered with the Salvation Army on ‘Sinclair Cares: Your Neighbor Needs You,’ which to-date has raised over $750,000 for those financially impacted by COVID-19. I am especially proud of our employees, who have stepped up and positively impacted their communities during these difficult times. We call them Sinclair Heroes and their selfless acts of kindness have helped make a difficult time more bearable for those in need.

Ripley continued, “Among the actions we have taken as a company to assist our employees include expanding the use of sick leave for employees unable to work due to child or dependent care issues, allowing eligible employees to cash out vacation hours to assist with family hardships, and revamping how we pay our commissioned employees at a time when advertising revenues are impacted.”

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Ripley concluded, “We also want to thank the many employees in our news, on-air operations and other essential departments who continue to perform their duties on-site in order to ensure that our outlets remain on the air and broadcasting entertainment and critical local news information.”

Also, Sinclair today declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share on its Class A and Class B common stock. The dividend is payable on June 15 to the holders of record at the close of business on June 1.

Read the company’s report here.

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