Sinclair Sees Rosier Q3

'Cash for Clunkers' and political driving better forecast

Sinclair Broadcast Group expects net broadcast revenue results for the third quarter to be better than the guidance provided on Aug. 5. On that date, the broadcaster reported its outlook for third quarter net broadcast revenues to be approximately $126.6 million, a 15.7% decline from third quarter 2008. Sinclair now expects net broadcast revenues to be around $136 million, or 9.4% lower than the same period last year.
"The third quarter's better than expected results came from a variety of categories including the government's extension of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program, higher political ad spending on health care and state-related issues, higher retransmission revenues," said Sinclair Executive VP/CFO David Amy, "as well as increased advertising spending across many categories in August and September, a trend which appears to be continuing into the fourth quarter."
During its earnings call Aug. 5, Sinclair VP/COO Steve Marks suggested an extended Clunkers program would significantly boost Sinclair's bottom line.

Last week, Sinclair announced it was reworking its local marketing agreement deal with struggling Cunningham Broadcasting, an alteration designed to help both broadcasters weather the economic storm.