Despite Republican frontrunner Donald Trump relying less on paid media than free air time, Sinclair Broadcast Group executives are nonetheless optimistic about strong political ad revenue for 2016.
Answering questions during Sinclair’s fourth quarter earnings call Wednesday, Steven Marks, VP and co-chief operating officer said it remains to be seen whether Trump’s media strategy could put a damper on broadcast television’s ad revenue, but the company has been pleasantly surprised with primaries so far.
“The spending to date has been enormous, actually, and we’ll have to wait and see what Donald does,” Marks added. “I would suspect that if he’s the nominee—and this is just me thinking out loud—the RNC is going to have no choice but to back him, and the money will flow. The prize is too big.”
Sinclair reported an 85% decrease in political ad revenue for fourth quarter 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. With 2016 indeed being an election year, Sinclair is feeling good about its prospects.
“If it comes down to swing states, which it usually does...we’re in a better position than any of the broadcast companies,” Marks said.