Sinclair Broadcast Group reported fourth-quarter revenue of
$287.1 million, a 58.8% increase over the previous fourth quarter. The company
had operating income of $119.1 million in the quarter, compared to $63.5
million in the prior year period. Political revenues were $54.1 million, versus
$4.1 million in the previous year's fourth quarter. Local broadcast advertising
revenue grew 33.7% and national ad revenue climbed 58.5%.
"2012 was a remarkable year for our company," said
David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair. "We successfully closed on 30
TV stations, recorded record levels of political advertising, benefited from a
rebound in the automotive advertising category, and achieved historic levels in
key financial metrics."
Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were
$920.6 million for the year, an increase of 42.1% versus 2011's figures.
Smith said 2013 looks bright as well. "As we look
forward to 2013, we are very excited about our prospects, including starting
the year with the Super Bowl on our 11 CBS stations," he said. "While
we have led the current consolidation trend in the broadcast industry, we
believe there are still many opportunities for us to continue to acquire
quality television assets, unlock hidden value, and strengthen our competitive
The fourth quarter saw Sinclair close on KBTV Beaumont,
formerly of Nexstar, seven stations from the former Newport TV group and three
more from GoCom Media.
In January, Fox Television Stations notified Sinclair that
it would not exercise its option to purchase Sinclair's stations in Raleigh
(WRDC-WLFL); Las Vegas (KVMY- KVCW); Cincinnati (WSTR); or Norfolk (WTVZ). The
option was due to expire March 30. Pursuant to its affiliation agreement
entered into in May 2012, Sinclair is required to pay the last installment
payment to Fox in the amount of $25 million.
Sinclair expects first quarter 2013 station net broadcast
revenues to be approximately $251.9 million to $254.9 million, up 32% to 33.5%.
Excluding the acquisitions, same station net broadcast revenues in the first
quarter 2013 are estimated to be up 3.4% to 5.0%.
"As a result of the many stations we acquired in 2012,
we believe our more balanced portfolio of 'big four' network-affiliated
stations will allow us to increase our revenue share, especially given our
content offering of highly rated shows such as the local news and sports,"
said David Amy, executive VP and CFO.
Sinclair owns and operates, programs or provides sales
services to 87 television stations in 47 markets.