The increase is helped by a higher retransmission consent and reverse comp revenue.
CEO Perry Sook attributes the record results to “solid core revenue growth, our ability to maximize the Olympic and political revenue opportunities, growing retransmission consent revenues, impressive digital growth and the ongoing benefits of our results-focused operating disciplines.” The big driver was political of $25.5 million, plus a 23% gain in retrans revenue and $29 million in digital.
The broadcast operation, with ABC, generated $1.44 billion in revenue, up 5%, with operating income up 3% to $163 million. Advertising fell, Disney says, “due to fewer units sold” at ABC. That offset increases from program sales for Shark Tank, America’s Funniest Home Videos, My Wife and Kids– and a drop in costs following the cancellation of Katie.
Nielsen N.V.’s third-quarter financial results showed healthy gains, due to Arbitron and Harris acquisitions — and more moderate rises for its core business. At its Watch unit, revenue climbed 29% to $694 million. For its big Buy business unit, revenue improved 3.5% to $878 million. Overall revenue was up 13% to $1.57 billion — and without factoring in Arbitron and Harris, increased 2.5%.
The decrease in political and Gulf of Mexico oil spill-related advertising is a big part of the decline of the company’s overall results. When factoring out political, broadcast revenues for the quarter decreased 2.4%. Looking ahead, it says the fourth quarter should bring “a welcome strengthening in automotive advertising” and increased political revenues from early primaries in Florida and South Carolina.
But factoring out the lower political revenue, that changes to a 4.7% gain, driven by improving auto advertising. Retrans revenue was up 26.7% and online grew 27.5%.