Sinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues in
the third quarter of $226.4, up 49% from the same quarter last year. Political
spending and a robust automotive category paced the big numbers.
"We are very pleased with our results for the third
quarter, which were driven by increased advertising spending by the political
and automotive categories, as well as higher retransmission revenues,"
commented David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair. "Despite increased
demand for air-time by politicians and political action groups, the core
business showed solid growth. On a same station basis, excluding political, net
broadcast revenues grew 6.9% in the third quarter."
"We continue to reinvest in the company's long term
growth, having recently entered into an agreement to buy the non-license assets
of KBTV, the Fox affiliate in the Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas, market, where we
also own the CBS station," added Smith. "We also entered into an agreement to
sell our ABC station, WLAJ, in Lansing, Mich., as part of our on-going
portfolio evaluation in which we identify pockets of opportunity as well as
WLAJ was acquired in the Freedom Communications deal.
Local net broadcast revenues were up 34.5% in the third
quarter, while national net broadcast revenues were up 96.8%.
"We have many reasons to be very excited about the
state of our company," commented David Amy, executive VP and CFO. "Among them,
political ad spending on our stations for this year is expected to reach a
historic $98.2 million. On a pro forma basis, compared to 2008, that would
represent an 82% increase.
"We believe the strength of our fundamentals and the
contributions from our acquisitions will add to our strong competitive position
as we enter next year," he added.