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Sinclair Reports Lower Net as Revenue Rises 8.5%

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported lower first-quarter earnings as revenue rose 8.5%.

The giant broadcaster last week acquired 21 regional sports networks from the Walt Disney Co. for about $10 billion.

"This is a very exciting time for Sinclair," said Chris Ripley, president and chief executive officer. "We are transforming the Company, diversifying our content sources and revenue mix, and building a leading local news and sports organization on all platforms. In addition, during the first quarter, we launched our free, linear and on demand multi-channel streaming service,”

First quarter net income was $21.7 million, or 23 cents a share, compared to $43.1 million, or 42 cents a share a year ago. Operating income was $93.6 million, down from $107.3 million a year ago when the company recorded $21 million in gains on asset dispositions, including spectrum sold in the government’s Incentive Auction.

Revenue was $722.1 million, compared to $665.4 million a year ago.

Media revenue increased 4.6% to $673 million and distribution revenue was $352 million, up from $314 million a year ago. Digital revenue increased 10%.