Sinclair, Without Regional Sports Nets, Reports $55 Million Net Income in Q1

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

Sinclair Broadcast Group — financially separated from the troubled Bally Sports regional sports networks — reported a fourth-quarter profit, driven by record media revenue.

Sinclair separated itself financially from Diamond Sports, the subsidiary that runs the RSNs. Diamond last week missed an interest payment and is in negotiations with creditors that could lead to a restructuring or bankruptcy.

Sinclair’s net income was $55 million, or 79 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared to a loss a year ago of $89 million, or $1.18 a share.

Operating income excluding the RSNs increased 110% to $263 million.

Revenues were down 35%, to $960 million Excluding Diamond Sports, revenues were up 18%. Media revenues without the RSNs were up 19%.

Excluding Diamond, advertising revenues increased 58% to $503 million. Core advertising revenues, excluding political ads, rose 10%, to $331 million. (A year ago, Sinclair was the victim of a cyberattack that kept it from running advertising. Excluding the cyberattack, core advertising would have been down 9%.)

Distribution revenues, excluding the RSNs, were $415 million, down 2%.

“Sinclair had a solid finish to 2022, setting records for our broadcast and other advertising and distribution revenues,“ Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said. ”Strong political revenues were a big factor in the record results, demonstrating the strong value proposition TV continues to offer in reaching the masses. We entered 2023 financially strong and are well-positioned to weather whatever economic environment we face in the year ahead.”

Looking ahead to the first quarter, Sinclair said it expects total revenue to be between $768 million and 787 million, including advertising revenues of between $297 million and $312 million. 

Its guidance called for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $99 million to $133 million. ■

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.