Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.NASDAQ
Tue, Sep. 27, 4:19 PM
- Final ratings are still coming together, but last night's presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be the most-watched ever.
- With several networks in, the first presidential debate this season has hit 83.7M viewers, which would surpass the previous most-watched presidential debate, the sole debate between 1980 candidates Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan (80M viewers).
- Of course, that viewer bounty isn't visited on just one network -- more than a dozen televised the event live and (at least during the debate) commercial-free -- but the overall result means a flood of ad dollars going to a variety of networks for pre- and post-debate ads, some of which looked more like the Super Bowl in terms of level of interest.
- According to Nielsen's current numbers, the Big Four broadcast networks drew 49.1M viewers, up about 25% from 2012; NBC (CMCSA +0.6%) with 18.2M, ABC (DIS -0.3%) with 13.5M, CBS (CBS +1.8%) with 12.1M and Fox (FOX +2%, FOXA +1.7%) with 5.3M. PBS drew 2.9M viewers, while Univision (Pending:UVN) added 2.5M and Telemundo 1.8M.
- On cable, Fox News saw 11.4M viewers, with CNN (TWX +2.3%) slightly behind at 9.8M and MSNBC at 4.9M.
- Local broadcast chains including Gray Television (GTN -0.1%) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +1.5%) have recently cut guidance for political revenues, with advertising spending disappointing.
Tue, Sep. 20, 5:57 PM
- Gray Television (GTN -9.4%) has now withdrawn its guidance for political advertising revenue for Q3 and for Q4 -- the newest sign that spending oddities in the national races will have outsize effects on local broadcasters.
- Overall Q3 net revenue, ex-political spending, should meet its previously issued guidance, however.
- Political ad orders -- which have always been on shorter notice -- are arriving later than usual, Gray notes, and current orders are coming with just a few days' notice.
- "The Trump campaign and/or allied PACs have purchased advertising time in some Gray markets, and it has expressed interest in placing advertising in up to nine states involving up to 17 Gray markets," the company says. "At this time, however, the campaign's future spending is currently impossible to predict."
- The Clinton campaign and allied PACs are looking at ads in up to six states involving up to seven Gray markets.
- While statewide races are tighter in Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina, Senate racesin Ohio and Colorado haven't led to "robust" spending as anticipated. And some big advertisers have indicated that they'll direct funds instead to organizing voters and other activities.
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) also tumbled 9.4% today as it cut its own forecast for political revenues.
Tue, Sep. 20, 12:43 PM
Tue, Sep. 20, 9:21 AM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) is 5.9% lower premarket after the company cut guidance on its Q3 media revenues, seeing a drop in political spending.
- The company -- the nation's biggest local broadcaster -- now sees those revenues at around $637M-$638M (growth of about 28% Y/Y), down from previous guidance for $649.2M-$663.2M (growth of 30.3%-33.1%).
- The lower forecast includes $46M of political spending vs. a previously expected $58M-$68M. "Political is the most difficult part of our revenue to estimate given that advertising time is typically purchased with only a couple of days' notice prior to the ads airing," says Sinclair Chief Financial Officer Chris Ripley.
- "While we previously anticipated a decline in Presidential ad spending in the third quarter based on the late fundraising by the Trump campaign, we have yet to see significant spending, even at the levels we initially anticipated," he says in a statement. "Additionally, our estimate is impacted by two other events, notably, a historically large political advertiser announced they were going to direct their funds to organizing voters rather than towards campaign funding.
- "Secondly, in Ohio, a key state for us and what was to be one of the most expensive Senate races in Ohio history, political spending has dropped drastically as recent polls reflect a widening margin between the Senatorial candidates," he adds. Recently, Republican Rob Portman has moved out to an advantage of around 13 percentage points against the Democrats' Ted Strickland.
- While Q3 political ad revenue's revised down, he says Q3 core ad revenue estimates (low single-digit percent increase) is unchanged.
Tue, Sep. 6, 4:02 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI -0.4%) has added a new $150M share repurchase authorization.
- The new amount is to be tapped once its existing authorization, currently with $58M remaining capacity, is exhausted.
- The company may use the authorized amounts to buy its Class A common hshares from time to time either openly or through private transactions.
- Shares are down 10.3% YTD.
Tue, Aug. 30, 3:18 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +0.9%) has closed an offering of $400M in debt as part of a rollover.
- The company's sold that sum in 5.125% senior unsecured notes due 2027, at 100% of par value, and is using proceeds to redeem its 6.375% senior unsecured notes due 2021.
- There's $350M in outstanding principal in those notes; after a total redemption price of $377.2M, the remainder of the $400M will go to general purposes.
Wed, Aug. 24, 7:50 PM
- The first benchmark has been hit for closing the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum auction, but the second benchmark will be a harder task.
- Bids have reached $16.3B after 15 rounds in the forward auction, which began last week as a second phase following an earlier reverse auction.
- That's exceeded the $15.9B total the FCC set as the first benchmark for closing -- but the other benchmark is $88.38B, which the FCC needs to pay broadcasters who set that price in the reverse auction as well as cover costs.
- There's still time, particularly with the price on the blocks rising by 5% a day, John Eggerton notes. But falling short of the $88.38B could mean reopening reverse auction rounds and a completion delayed into next year.
- Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
Tue, Aug. 16, 10:26 AM
- A major FCC auction of wireless airwaves just entered its second phase.
- The forward auction in the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum sale has begun, with Comcast (CMCSA -0.1%) and Dish Network (DISH -0.8%) among those joining the usual spectrum suspects: AT&T (T -0.9%), Verizon (VZ -0.6%), and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.1%), but not Sprint (S +0.4%), which is sitting this out. Of about 100 parties eligible to bid, 62 have been certified by the FCC.
- That follows the reverse auction, where broadcasters set up blocks of spectrum they'll be selling to be reallocated for wireless carrier use.
- This phase represents a challenge, now that the reverse auction's price has been set at $86.4B. With costs, the FCC needs to raise $88B; if the forward auction doesn't reach that height, the reverse auction will need to be reopened to lower its price, which would also cut spectrum sold -- and likely drag the entire process into 2017.
- Broadcast players: SBGI, EVC, NXST, CBS, MEG
- Previously: Next phase of FCC spectrum auction likely to start mid-July (Jul. 01 2016)
Mon, Aug. 15, 12:54 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +2.6%) has set a private offering of $350M in senior debt, set to roll over notes due in 2021.
- The company is offering that amount in senior unsecured notes due to mature in 2027. It plans to use proceeds to redeem its Sinclair Television Group unit's $350M in 6.375% notes due 2021, with a redemption date planned for Aug. 30.
Wed, Aug. 3, 2:22 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +5.3%) and Comcast (CMCSA -0.4%) have a new deal for retransmission consent.
- Terms weren't disclosed, but Sinclair is "pleased with the value received, which reflects the importance of our programming to Comcast subscribers," says Sinclair General Counsel Barry Faber.
- The deal arranges broadcast rights between the nation's biggest local broadcaster and the country's biggest cable TV provider.
- Sinclair has moved up strong today following an earnings report with healthy revenue growth that beat analyst consensus.
Wed, Aug. 3, 11:03 AM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) is up 4.8% after it beat expectations with Q2 revenues that are benefiting from political advertising season.
- In political spending, it's still expecting a record year, but expects emphasis on Q4: "Given the minimal spending to date by the Trump campaign and his late start in fund raising, we expect to see political spending for the remainder of the election cycle skew slightly more to fourth quarter than in years past but are still expecting a record year," says COO David Amy.
- Operating income rose 12.9% to $129.1M, and net income rose 7.9% to $49.4M. Media revenues (before barter) were up 20.5% to $606.3M. Revenues from digital offerings were up 28%.
- Cash and equivalents came to $104M; net debt sat at $4.075B at quarter's end.
- For Q3 it's expecting media revenues before barter to rise 30.3%-33.1% Y/Y, to $663.2M. It sees capex of about $30M for the quarter.
- Press Release
Wed, Aug. 3, 7:43 AM
Wed, Aug. 3, 7:36 AM
Tue, Aug. 2, 6:37 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI -1.4%) has expressed interest in buying the Weather Channel TV network for as much as $100M in talks that have been longstanding but recently heated up again, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- IBM had bought the digital assets of the company last October from its owners -- NBCUniversal (CMCSA -1%) and private-equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone Group (BX -2%). But ownership held on to the linear TV network.
- That digital deal came in for more than $2B; if the TV operation sells for $100M as expected, it will have been a significant loser for ownership, which bought it in 2008 for about $3.5B.
- Sinclair, the nation's biggest local broadcaster with a growing appetite for content, acquired the Tennis Channel early this year.
Tue, Aug. 2, 5:30 PM
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Tue, Aug. 2, 12:28 PM
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI -1.9%) has entered into affiliation agreements with Fox (FOX, FOXA +0.2%) to renew outstanding and expired deals.
- The companies renewed Fox affiliations for five Sinclair markets that expired last Dec. 31, as well as five that expired at the end of June. Fox also renewed affiliations for stations in three markets that Sinclair takes part in via joint sales agreements.
- Remaining Fox affiliations (including to those markets Sinclair serves via JSAs) don't expire until 2017.