Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were up 3.2% and national net broadcast revenues were down 8.9%.
Sinclair Broadcast Group today reported financial results for the three months ended Sept. 30 that included net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $151.7 million, a decrease of 4.5% versus the prior year period result of $158.8 million.
The company had operating income of $52.2 million in the three-month period, as compared to operating income of $56.1 million in the prior year period. Net income was $19.2 million in the quarter versus $14.3 million a year earlier.
Political revenues were $2.4 million in the third quarter 2011 versus $9.8 million in third quarter 2010.
Local net broadcast revenues, which include local time sales, retransmission revenues, and other broadcast revenues, were up 1.2% in the third quarter 2011 while national net broadcast revenues, which include national time sales and other national broadcast revenues, were down 19.2% versus the third quarter 2010. Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were up 3.2% and national net broadcast revenues were down 8.9% in the third quarter.
Advertising categories that reported the largest spending increases in the third quarter were automotive, retail, and schools, while services, media spending, telecommunications, and grocery were down the most. Automotive, Sinclair’s largest category, was up 3.2% in the quarter.
David Smith, Sinclair president-CEO, said: “Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, core broadcast revenues are expected to continue
to grow. Automotive advertising spending is on the upswing with the Japanese auto manufacturers back to near full production and political ad spending heating up. For the fourth quarter, we expect our stations to benefit from a low-teen percent growth rate in ad spending by the automotive industry, as compared to fourth quarter 2010, and approximately $3.5 million in political revenues.”
Concurrently with its earnings announcement, Sinclair announced that it is buying Freedom Communications’ eight TV stations for $385 million (see separate story here).