Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2020.
First Quarter Highlights
- Consolidated revenue increased 123% to $1,609 million as compared to first quarter 2019, with gains driven in large part by the Company’s acquisition of 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) and Fox College Sports in August 2019. Excluding the RSN acquisition, media revenues increased by 17%, aided by an increase in political advertising and higher retransmission revenues. Consolidated Media Revenue was $31 million below the low end of guidance due in part to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on certain advertising revenues.
- Consolidated operating income increased 248% to $327 million.
- Consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $281 million increased 69% versus the first quarter of 2019 and was $22M greater than the high end of Company guidance, due in part to cost reduction efforts in the wake of COVID-19.
“Despite these macro challenges, Sinclair was quick to manage non-essential costs and provide for a smooth ‘work-from-home’ transition. We are confident that our diversified revenue streams, content, and delivery platforms will allow us to see our Company through the pandemic’s effects and that we will be able to meet our liquidity needs. Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, we have and continue to take steps to manage our costs including deferring non-critical capital expenditures, delaying non-essential hiring actions, and reducing discretionary expenses until conditions improve.”
Ripley concluded, “We also want to thank the many employees in our news, on-air operations and other essential departments who continue to perform their duties on-site in order to ensure that our outlets remain on the air and broadcasting entertainment and critical local news information.”