Sinclair Broadcast Group reported an 11% increase in third quarter revenue Wednesday, from $448.1 million in Q3 2014 to $497.4 million.
Political revenue was down 77%, as third quarter 2014 came before the midterm elections, but digital revenue jumped 34%.
During the quarter, Sinclair acquired the non-license assets of WDSI and WFLI in Chattanooga, Tenn., and agreed with Dish Network to renew their retransmission consent deal for multiple years. Sinclair's American Sports Network inked a multi-year sublicense deal with ESPN as well as several collegiate hockey conferences.
“Not only did our financial performance in the third quarter exceed our expectations,” said David Smith, Sinclair president and CEO, “but we continued to expand our national footprint through additional station acquisitions, to enhance our digital distribution platform with the launch of our content and video management systems, and to offer more news, local sports and entertainment content to our viewers.”
Sinclair is expecting a positive fourth quarter as well, with core advertising revenue to increase by low- to mid-single digits percentages, political ad revenue to climb and retrans consent fees to grow, according to David Amy, executive VP and chief operating officer.