Sinclair Broadcast Group has been growing at a breakneck
clip, and David Amy, executive VP and CFO, put some numbers on just how big the
station group has gotten. With its acquisition of a half dozen Newport TV
stations closing Dec. 3, Sinclair reaches 27.1% of U.S. households, Amy told
the gathering at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New
York. That's about the same as NBC's owned stations, and ahead of ABC's. Add up
the TV households reached by Nexstar, LIN and Gray, said Amy, and that's around
how many households Sinclair reaches.
Its increased breadth gives Sinclair significant clout in
terms of retrans, noted Amy, and quells any concern about the major broadcast
networks skipping the stations to go direct to cable. "It has become a
very substantial revenue line for them," he said. "Our relationship
has grown much more significant. I wouldn't call [networks going straight to
cable] a risk."
Amy expects Sinclair's retrans revenue to double over the
next three years.
Sinclair's EBITDA looks to be $402 million in 2012, said
Amy, up from $269 million last year.
Amy says television -- local television -- remains a key
factor in consumers' purchase decisions. "We are still crucial for a
successful product," he said.