With its high-profile acquisition of Tribune Media in process, Sinclair Broadcast Group Wednesday reported hitting $631.8 million in media revenue during the second quarter of 2017.
The figure represents a 4.2% increase over Q2 2016, Sinclair said.
The increase was fueled by a 40% rise in digital revenue, according to Sinclair. Among the biggest swings was political revenue, which hit $16.7 million during election-year Q2 2016, dropping to $5.4 million during the three months ending June 30.
Among Q2 2017 financial highlights were:
- Total revenues increased 1.9% to $679.3 million, versus $666.5 million in the prior year period.
- Operating income was $118.8 million versus operating income of $129.1 million in the prior year period, reflecting $6 million of expenses related to the Tribune and Bonten Media Group acquisitions.
- Net income attributable to the company was $44.6 million versus net income of $49.4 million in the prior year period.
- Diluted earnings per common share were $0.43 as compared to $0.52 in the prior year period.
Sinclair’s earnings report comes as the group’s $3.9 billion bid to buy Tribune broadcasting works its way through the regulatory process, sparking widespread interest—and criticism. Opponents, including free press advocates and foes of Sinclair’s conservative politics, pan the deal, as it would give Sinclair, the country’s largest broadcast group, near national coverage.
In its report, Sinclair said it expects the deal to close by the end of 2017.
During the last quarter, Sinclair also has been a leader in prepping the industry for the rollout of ATSC 3.0, the next-gen broadcast standard. Sinclair and Nexstar Media created a spectrum consortium to maximize opportunities related to the new standard, which Univision and Northwest Broadcasting have since joined.
In July, Sinclair and Nexstar reached a tentative agreement on coordinating the transition to ATSC 3.0 in 97 markets, including 43 where both groups have stations.