Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 19%

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues of $158.7 million in the second quarter, a 19.3% improvement over the same quarter a year ago. Operating income for the quarter was $56.7 million, way up from $25.8 million in the same quarter last year.

Net broadcast revenues for the first half of 2010 were $306.6 million, an increase of 16% over 2009's first two quarters.

"Broadcast television advertising continues to grow, an indicator that the economy is showing signs of recovery," commented Sinclair President/CEO David Smith. "In the second quarter, we experienced gains in nearly all of our major core advertising categories, with the largest growth coming from the automotive sector, which was up 46% year-over-year. Political for the first six months also paced ahead of the same period in 2006, the last non-presidential election year."

"The more important data points, however, are that the third quarter's core advertising sales are on pace to not only exceed the same period in 2008 by approximately 9% growth, but also to approximate the current year's second quarter core business, which is typically one of our stronger quarters in any given year," added Smith.

Sinclair booked a four-year retransmission consent renewal with Charter Communications in the quarter.

Local net broadcast revenues were up 16.6% and national was up 27.7%.

Sinclair said political would help offset core revenue declines for the rest of the year. "We continue to see advertising sales grow in the third quarter particularly from political and the automotive category," commented EVP/CFO David Amy. "While the first half of 2010 posted very strong core revenue growth of 14.4% on average, we do not expect to see that same level of core percentage growth in the back half of the year. We believe this is due to the normal process of core advertisers getting crowded out of certain dayparts by the heavy demand for our inventory by political candidates and campaign issue spending rather than the result of an expectation for a slowing economy."

Sinclair forecasts third quarter revenue to grow in the high teens to low 20s.

The group owns, operates or provides services to 58 stations in 35 markets.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.