The rise is fueled by a 259% jump in political advertising, a 67% increase in retransmission consent revenue and a 34% rise in Internet money.
Gray Television today announced results from operations for the three month period ended March 31 that included a 16% increase in revenue to $80.7 million from the year-earlier quarter.
The company said the rise was primarily due to increased retransmission consent revenue and political, local and internet advertising revenue. A significant portion of its retransmission consent contracts expired on Dec. 31, 2011, and Gray was able to renew substantially all of these contracts under more favorable terms.
Political advertising revenue increased due to increased advertising from political candidates and special interest groups in the “on year” of the two-year election cycle.
Local advertising revenue continued to increase primarily due to an improving economy.
While internet advertising revenue has also benefited from an improving economy, Gray said it continues to focus on and invest resources into its Internet sales efforts that have also resulted in increased Internet revenue.
In addition, local and national net advertising revenue was positively influenced by the broadcast of the 2012 Super Bowl on its 10 primary NBC channels, earning Gray approximately $800,000, an increase of approximately $600,000 compared to the broadcast of the 2011 Super Bowl on its one primary Fox-affiliated channel and four secondary digital Fox-affiliated channels, which earned approximately $200,000.
In addition, Gray continued to earn consulting revenue under its agreement with Young Broadcasting Inc.
The principal components of Gray’s revenue for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011 were:
- Local advertising revenue increased $2.1 million, or 5%, to $45.9 million.
- National advertising revenue remained consistent at $13.0 million.
- Internet advertising revenue increased $1.4 million, or 34%, to $5.7 million.
- Political advertising revenue increased $3.6 million, or 259%, to $5.0 million setting a new first quarter record.
- Retransmission advertising revenue increased $3.4 million, or 68%, to $8.5 million.
- Other revenue increased $0.1 million, or 5%, to $1.9 million.
- Consulting revenue from our agreement with Young Broadcasting, Inc. was $0.8 million.
Gray’s five largest local and national advertising categories on a combined local and national basis by customer type, excluding political advertising, demonstrated the following changes during the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011: automotive increased 8%; medical increased 15%; restaurant increased 8%; communications increased 17%; and furniture and appliances increased 5%.