Sinclair Posts $332 Million Loss in Second Quarter

Signage stands outside the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. headquarters in Cockeysville, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018
Sinclair headquarters in Maryland. (Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported a second quarter loss as media programming and production expenses increased.

The loss of $332 million, or $4.41 a share, compared to net income of $252 million, or $3.12 a share, a year ago. 

The loss included $35 million of non-recurring costs for transaction and transition services, COVID, legal and regulator costs.

Adjusted EBITDA rose 70% to $433 million.

Revenue increased 26% to $1.6 billion.

Total advertising revenue rose 109% to $491 million as the economy recovered from the pandemic. Core ad revenue--excluding political revenue--was up 125% to $486 million.

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Distribution revenue edged up to $1.07 billion from $1.01 billion. Revenue was hurt by dropped carriage of the company’s regional sports networks and subscriber churn.

Sinclair said it expected adjusted EBITDA to be between $422 million to $488 million in the fourth quarter. It forecasts revenue of between $1.549 billion and $1.618 billion, with advertising revenue of between $445 million and $465 million and distribution revenue of $1.061 billion and $1.109 billion.

“Results for the quarter were solid, as we outperformed our expectations amid the continued recovery in the core advertising market, as well as timing of expenses and our ongoing cost control efforts,” said CEO Chris Ripley.

“As we progress through the year, we have been making great strides in a number of areas, including planning our direct-to-consumer local sports service expected to launch next year, the debut of gamification elements in conjunction with Bally Sports in some of our sports programming, and the evolution of our digital agency compiles into an omni-channel marketing technology platform for local agencies and media companies,” Ripley said. 

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.