Retransmission deals boost Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI) in 4Q 2010

You know your cable subscription dollars are going to a good cause--keeping a broadcaster in the black--when that broadcaster, in this case Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI), calls it out in its earnings release.

Sinclair, which recently sparred over retransmission fees with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI), reported fourth quarter net broadcast revenues of $189.9 million, an increase of 23.5 percent from the previous year. Operating income was $81.3 million compared to a loss of $66.1 million a year ago.

While comments in the company's earnings news release credited improvement in advertising, it also pointed to positive news that it had signed retrans agreements with Bright House Networks, Mediacom and Time Warner Cable and that it entered into a cost-saving news share agreement with TWC. Tellingly, considering the way the TWC retrans negotiations went, Sinclair also mentioned that its licensing agreement with News Corp.'s (Nasdaq: NWSA) Fox Networks (which runs until the end of 2012) includes the network's approval to "enter into retransmission agreements with cable, telecom and satellite video providers in exchange for a license fee."

For more:
- see this news release

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Time Warner Cable, Sinclair finally reach deal