Political Boosts Sinclair’s First Quarter Revenue

The Sinclair Broadcast Group Wednesday morning reported revenue rising to $578.9 million during the first quarter of this year, a 14.7% increase from Q1 2015.

During the three months ending March 31, the Baltimore-based group’s operating income was $86.3 million, a 2.1% increase from last year.

Other operating report highlights include media revenues rising 14.3% to $531.3 million; political revenue up to $24.4 million from $2.2 million in Q1 2015; and a 28.1% rise in digital revenue, according to the company’s report.

In a statement, Sinclair president and CEO David Smith credited the company’s positive first quarter to the surge in political money, adding that the March acquisition of the Tennis Channel and the pending launch of its digital news showCirca, bode well for the remainder of the year.

Smith, however, said “perhaps most exciting this quarter” is the industry’s progress on the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard. In March, Sinclair launched its first Single Frequency Network, or SFN, that will be used to implement the new standard in the Washington and Baltimore DMAs.