Sinclair Cuts 2Q Loss Following Separation of Regional Sports Unit

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Sinclair Broadcast Group said it cut it’s net loss following the company’s move to separate its Diamond Sports regional sports network unit from its other TV properties.

With the Bally RSNs no longer part of Sinclair from an accounting point of view, the company did not provide information about the direct-to-consumer Bally Sports Plus streaming apps it launched in five markets in June.

Also: Sinclair’s Bally Sports Plus Streaming App To Launch June 23

Sinclair said Diamond Sports will release its financial results in a few weeks and hold a call for investors and analysts.

But Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said Sinclair would be looking to increase its digital operations, with new content offerings planned over the next 12 months.

At a time when the economy and inflation threaten  the ad market, Sinclair noted that its ad revenue was bolstered by $54 million in political spending–a record for the second quarter.

Sinclair’s second-quarter net loss was $11 million, or 17 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $332 million, or $4.41 a share, a year ago. A year ago, the net loss from Diamond Sports was $385 million. Excluding adjustments, the net loss was $2 million, the company said.

Revenue dropped 48% to $837 million without the RSNs. Excluding Diamond Sports, total revenue increased 5% and media revenue rose 5%, the company said.

Total advertising revenue was down 25% to $366 million. Excluding Diamond Sports, ad revenue was up 11%. Excluding the RSNs, core ad revenue was down 3%.

For the third quarter, Sinclair said it expects total ad revenues to be between $402 million and $419 million, including $95 million to $105 million in political revenue.

"The strong political environment resulted in the highest second quarter political advertising revenue we have ever experienced," said Ripley in a statement. “With even higher political ad revenues anticipated for our third and fourth quarters, which are typically the largest quarters for political spend, we believe 2022 political ad revenues could approach 2020's levels." Ripley said.

He added that “with the increased importance and growth of digital revenue, Sinclair continues to prioritize initiatives in this area. Our current average monthly unique users of 80 to 90 million position us well to develop incremental revenue streams in conjunction with digital content offerings, while providing more targeted and interactive opportunities to consumers. We expect to debut a number of new content offerings across our various platforms over the next 12 months that are unique to Sinclair.” ■

Jon Lafayette

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.