News Corp.’s Fox Television Stations unit, the country’s largest broadcast-TV station group, also grabbed the biggest chunk of revenue in the local TV industry last year, according to BIA Financial Network, which tracks local station financials. In 2004, Fox’s 35 local stations pulled in $2.4 billion in revenue, up 35% from 2000. (Fox has added 12 new stations to its group since 2000.)
CBS/Viacom, which owns 34 stations, nabbed $1.95 billion in station revenues, up 12.8% from 2000, when it counted 31 stations. NBC Universal followed in a close third with $1.93 billion in revenue. Its profits have soared 32% since 2000, in part because the NBC-owned group has grown from 12 stations to 29 outlets. NBC picked up 13 Telemundo stations when it bought the network four years ago.
Tribune Broadcasting recorded the fourth-largest revenues, $1.3 billion for its 26 stations, which are mostly WB and Fox stations. ABC/Disney, the smallest station group in the top ten with 10 outlets, took in $1.2 billion in revenue.
The remaining groups ranking in the top 10 were: Gannett Broadcasting, with $918 million for its 20 stations; Hearst-Argyle Television, with $827 million for 25 stations; Belo Corp., with $730 million for 19 stations; Univision Communications, with $660 million for 36 stations; and Cox Broadcasting, with $649 million for 14 stations.