Nexstar Third-Quarter Profits Boosted by $129 Million in Political Ad Spending

(Image credit: Nexstar)

Boosted by big political ad spending, Nexstar Media Group reported higher third-quarter profits on record net revenue.

Net income was $288.7 million, or $7.30 a share, up from $169.6 million, or $3.90 a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 9.7% to $1.269 billion.

Advertising revenue was up 18.8% to $529 million, with core advertising revenue (excluding political revenue) down 7.6% to $399.7 million. Nexstar generated $129.3 million in political revenue in the quarter, up from $12.4 million a year ago in a non-election year.

Distribution revenue rose 3.7% to $641.7 million. Digital revenue rose 5.7% to $85.7 million.

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“Nexstar delivered another quarter of record financial results as third quarter net revenue rose 9.7%, led by strong growth in political advertising, distribution, and digital revenue,” said CEO Perry Sook.

“Nexstar’s results continue to benefit from our diverse, scaled, efficient and low leverage business model. Over 50% of revenue is contractual and from non-advertising sources and approximately 70% of our core advertising is from local advertisers which are historically more consistent in their spend throughout economic cycles,” Sook said. 

Looking ahead, Sook said the company expects to benefit again from political advertising spending in the fourth quarter.

In 2033, Sook said he expects to see the upside of renewed distribution agreements covering more than half of its subscribers.

“We expect 2024 to benefit from another record year for political advertising due to the presidential election combined with the benefit of another wave of distribution agreement renewals for approximately 40% of our subscribers,” Sook said. “Longer-term, we believe implementing our plans for The CW Network, growing NewsNation and progressing towards the monetization of our spectrum through the deployment of ATSC 3.0 technology will complement our other growth initiatives to support the further enhancement of shareholder value.”  ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.