Kagan: Station Deals Reach $7.3B in 2014

TV station mergers & acquisitions volume fell to $7.3 billion in 2014, according to research house SNL Kagan, short of the $11.4 billion recorded in 2013 as consolidation in the sector slowed.

 According to Kagan, five large TV stations mergers worth between $684 million and $2.7 billion were tallied in 2013, but only two such deals – the largest being Media General’s $2.5 billion purchase of LIN Media – were recorded in 2014. Kagan blamed the consolidation slowdown partly on increased Federal Communications Commission regulations regarding broadcast ownership.

Overall, 145 full-power TV stations changed hands, bringing the average price per station to $49.1 million, compared to 286 full-power TV station sales for $38.9 million average in 2013, Kagan said. The average forward seller’s broadcast cash flow multiple for TV stations remained steady at 8.1 times (8.2 times in 2013).

Total broadcast M&A volume reached $8.7 billion for the year, according to Kagan, mainly fueled by a big increase (48%) in radio station deal volume. In total, 258 AM and 501 FM stations were sold, vs. 219 AM and 419 FM stations in 2013. The average price for an FM station rose from $2.0 million in 2013 to $2.5 million in 2014; average prices for AM stations rose slightly from $0.76 million to $0.86 million.