Sinclair Posts 5.4% Gain In 1Q Revenue

Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were up 7.6% and national net broadcast revenues were up 1.2%. Strong performances came from the automotive, schools, pharmaceuticals, and furniture ad categories.

Sinclair Broadcast Group today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31. Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $155.9 million, an increase of 5.4% versus the prior year period result of $147.9 million. The company had operating income of $50.5 million in the quarter, as compared to operating income of $45.6 million a year earlier. Net income attributable to Sinclair was $15.3 million versus $11.5 million in the prior year period.

Political revenues were $600,000 in the first quarter 2011 versus $1.5 million in first quarter 2010.

Revenues related to the February 6, 2011 Super Bowl, which aired on Sinclair’s 20 Fox affiliates, were $6.2 million. This represented a 26.5% increase over the $4.9 million it generated in 2008, the last time Fox aired the Super Bowl.

Local net broadcast revenues, which include local time sales, retransmission revenues, and other broadcast revenues, were up 7.6% in the first quarter 2011, in part due to the Super Bowl revenues; while national net broadcast revenues, which include national time sales and other national broadcast revenues, were down 1.4% versus the first quarter 2010 due to the absence of political. Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were up 7.6% and national net broadcast revenues were up 1.2% in the first quarter.

Advertising categories that reported the largest spending increases in the first quarter were automotive, schools, pharmaceuticals and furniture, while restaurants, home products, grocery, paid programming and religious programming were down the most. Automotive, Sinclair’s largest category, was up 22.7% in the quarter.

“We continue to see growth in our core business, both in the first quarter and in our second quarter expectations,” commented David Smith, president-CEO of Sinclair. “We are also seeing continued advertising growth in the auto category, although our outlook provides for some slowing due to new car production disruptions as a result of the Japanese crisis. We believe that once the auto parts and supply issues are addressed, manufacturers and dealers will increase their advertising in order to announce restocked inventories and to compete for their share of any pent up consumer demand.”


Read the company’s report here.

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