Gray Television reported first quarter revenue of $91.3 million, 17% greater than the first quarter in the previous year thanks to improvements in local advertising and retransmission consent revenue, and an increase in political ad spending.
Gray began providing services to KJCT Grand Junction in October 31 and began operating stations in three new markets, accounting for approximately $3.4 million of total revenue in the quarter.
Local advertising revenue increased 10% while national ad revenue slipped 1%. Retransmission consent revenue increased 66% to $6.4 million.
Airing the Olympics on 14 NBC stations also helped the revenue picture at Gray.
Gray forecasts second quarter local advertising revenue, excluding political advertising revenue, to increase 9% -10%, with retransmission consent revenue climbing approximately 72% to $16.1 million.
On May 1, Gray acquired KEVN Rapid City (S.D.) and a related satellite station and entered into a local marketing agreement under which it began operating KNDX Bismarck (N.D.), a related satellite station and two low power stations. On May 5, Gray agreed to acquire KTVH-KMTF Helena and KBGF Great Falls, both in Montana. On June 1, Gray will begin operating KTVH and KBGF pursuant to a local marketing agreement.
Estimates of revenue and broadcast expenses for the second quarter do not include estimates for these stations.
The Atlanta-based broadcaster is awaiting regulatory approval on a $335 acquisition of Hoak Media/Parker Broadcasting stations.