The drop from $150 million to $136 million is due to local ad revenue that was down 14% and national that fell 27%, which wasn’t offset by an increase in retransmission consent revenue from $18 million to $28 million.
Sinclair Broadcast Group today reported that its net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $136.4 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, a decrease of 9.1% versus the prior year period result of $150.1 million.
The company had operating income of $35.7 million in the three-month period, as compared to operating income of $37.4 million in the prior year period.
Political revenues were $1.9 million in the third quarter versus $8.7 million in third quarter 2008.
Revenues from retransmission consent agreements were $28.0 million in the third quarter 2009 as compared to $17.9 million in the third quarter 2008.
Local advertising revenues were down 13.9% in the third quarter 2009 while national advertising revenues were down 26.7% versus the third quarter 2008.
Excluding political revenues, local advertising revenues were down 13.2% and national advertising revenues were down 16.2% in the third quarter.
Advertising spending categories that were down the most were automotive, services, paid programming, movies and telecommunications.
Services, Sinclair’s largest category representing 15.6% of time sales, was down 10.9% while automotive, its second largest category representing 15.3% of time sales, was down 31.4% in the quarter.
Local advertising revenues, excluding political revenues, represented approximately 69% of advertising revenues in the third quarter.
Time sales on Sinclair’s Fox, ABC, MNT, CW, CBS and NBC stations were down 17.4%, 21.2%, 13.0%, 22.6%, 24.5% and 30.9% in the third quarter 2009, respectively.
During the quarter, the company received digital equipment at four stations in exchange for comparable analog equipment as a result of vacating certain analog spectrum to be used for public safety. As a result, the company recorded a $500,000 non-cash gain on the equipment exchange.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects fourth quarter revenue to drop 11.0% to 12.8% from the same period last year. This assumes $3 million in political revenues as compared to $25.6 million in 2008.
For the full year, the company is estimating net broadcast revenues of between $544.1 million and $547.1 million, down 14.4% to 14.9% from last year. The 2009 full-year estimate includes $5.9 million of political revenues versus $41.1 million in 2008.