Sinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenue of $404.2 million in the second quarter, up 44.7% from the same quarter in the previous year. Operating income was $103 million, an increase of 22.3% in the quarter.
Several acquisitions, including stations owned by Cox, Fisher and Barrington, were not included in the previous year’s second quarter.
"We are excited to report better than expected second quarter results on stronger core advertising and digital interactive revenues, as well as lower television operating expenses," said David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair. "With the acquisition of Allbritton now complete, our focus will be on rationalizing and strengthening the portfolio, building upon our existing television station platform as it relates to investments in digital interactive and news content, and expanding our recently launched collegiate sports initiative. At the same time, we will continue to push for regulatory reform and building the next generation broadcast platform, both of which will allow us to more effectively compete with other forms of media."
Sinclair’s political revenues were $11.6 million, versus $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2013. Local net broadcast revenues were up 47% while national revenues grew 36.3%. Sinclair’s fastest growing advertising categories included political, automotive, medical, fast food and travel/leisure.
In July, Sinclair announced that it was launching the college sports channel American Sports Network.
On July 31, Sinclair closed on its $985 million acquisition of the Allbritton television stations and simultaneously sold WHTM Harrisburg and the non-license assets of WTAT Charleston to comply with regulations.
Sinclair expects third quarter broadcast revenues to be $407 million to $409.6 million, up 34.3% to 35.2% year-over-year.
"The second half of the year should benefit from the mid-term political elections, as well as new programming for the start of the fall season," said David Amy, executive VP and COO. "Local advertising continues to grow by low single digit percents and, although national has recently started to show improvements, it is still pacing weaker than last year, leading us to remain cautious on our outlook."