Sinclair Broadcast Group’s latest quarter was buoyed by the company’s media group, which saw its revenues jump 4.2% to $631.8 million.
That figure is up from $606.3 million in the year-ago quarter. During this quarter, Sinclair’s political revenues fell to $5.4 million, down from $16.7 million last year, but revenues from digital offerings increased 40%.
In all, Sinclair’s total revenues rose 1.9% to $679.3 million, up from $666.5 million in the year-ago quarter. However, operating income fell to $118.8 million, down from $129.1 million in the year-ago quarter, due in part to $6 million of expenses related to the Tribune and Bonten Media Group acquisitions. Net income came in at $44.6 million, down from $49.4 million a year ago.
“2017 continues to be a defining year for Sinclair as our strategic acquisitions, partnerships and technological leadership drive the growth of the company. The pending addition of the Tribune Media Company to the Sinclair family would create a leading media platform that ensures a free and local television model can thrive,” said David Smith, executive chairman of Sinclair, in a statement. “The broadcast industry is primed to be re-imagined with the approval of ATSC 3.0 (Next Gen TV) expected later this year and the modernization of broadcast regulation, allowing for our industry to compete in the new media ecosystem. Our Spectrum Consortium with Nexstar, Univision and Northwest positions us to reach more communities across the United States, as well as better serve our consumers and advertisers with new technologies that will super charge our capabilities and consumer offerings.”
Looking ahead, Sinclair is anticipating core advertising in the third quarter to be flattish partly due to an absence of $11 million in Olympics advertising revenues. As such, the company expects its media revenues next quarter will come in at around $623.2 million to $629.8 million, down 0.9% to 1.9% year-over-year.
“Our digital business, excluding new digital investments, continues to outperform with mid to high twenty percent growth expected in the third quarter of 2017. On the cash flow front, in July, we received approximately $311 million of gross proceeds from the FCC Spectrum Auction, which we intend to use towards the funding of the Tribune acquisition,” said Chris Ripley, president and CEO at Sinclair, in a statement.