facebook linkedin twitter

Sinclair Broadcast Loses $3.2 Billion in Third Quarter Amid Pandemic’s Impact on Sports Networks

November 5, 2020by Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun
Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Hunt Valley-based broadcaster, lost $3.2 billion for the July-to-September period as the company wrote off about $4.2 billion in goodwill and intangible assets. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported a massive loss for the quarter ended Sept. 30 due to charges related to its local sports segment during the coronavirus.

The Hunt Valley-based broadcaster lost $3.2 billion for the July-to-September period as the company wrote off about $4.2 billion in goodwill and intangible assets, the company announced Wednesday.

A year earlier, Sinclair lost $60 million. On a per share basis, the company lost $42.66 a share, compared with a 65 cent loss a year ago.

But excluding those adjustments, the TV station owner reported it would have earned $161 million.

Sinclair said its revenue jumped 37% to $1.5 billion compared with the third quarter of 2019. The gains were driven mostly by the company’s $10.6 billion acquisition in August 2019 of 21 regional sports networks and Fox College Sports from Disney and by higher political advertising revenue.

“Driven by stronger than expected political and sports advertising revenue, and stringent cost control measures during the pandemic, Sinclair’s results for the quarter, excluding the impairment, exceeded our expectations and guidance,” said Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s president and CEO.

Political revenues jumped to $109 million in the third quarter compared with $6 million in the third quarter of 2019 because of the presidential election. Advertising in the broadcast segment has continued to face challenges during the pandemic, but ad demand improved during the quarter, Ripley said. The pandemic also has led to a higher rate of subscription losses, he said.

But he noted that the company has several initiatives in the works to drive growth. Sinclair plans to launch a new sports app by the start of the spring baseball season and will unveil The National Desk, a new headline news service, early next year.

In addition, the broadcaster is continuing to roll out NEXTGEN TV, a new television broadcast technology, to about 45 markets by the end of next year. Other growth drivers include Sinclair’s free streaming platform STIRR and legalized sports betting opportunities, Ripley said.

In addition to the $4.2 billion charge, Sinclair’s operating loss included $13 million in non-recurring costs for transaction, COVID, legal, litigation, and regulatory expenses.

The losses were a result of a decline in distribution revenue brought on by a number of factors, including the recent loss of two distributors — YouTube and Hulu — that made up about 10% of September’s local sports distribution revenue. Sinclair also said it lost subscribers at elevated levels because of the economic climate, the pandemic and other uncertainties.

The losses have not impacted the company’s cash flow from operating activities or its debt covenants, the company said.

Wall Street analysts were expecting a loss of $3.12 per share, on an adjusted basis.

___

(c)2020 The Baltimore Sun

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Media

October 11, 2021
by Dan McCue
Americans’ Trust in Media Continues to Slide

WASHINGTON – Americans’ trust in the news media continues to plummet, dropping four percentage points from last year’s already low... Read More

WASHINGTON – Americans’ trust in the news media continues to plummet, dropping four percentage points from last year’s already low 36%, a new Gallup poll has found. The poll, which was released last week also found the media continues to be a decidedly politically polarizing issue... Read More

September 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
Bill Aimed at Saving Local Journalism Included in Reconciliation Package

WASHINGTON -- A key piece of a bipartisan proposal to sustain local journalism has passed through the House Ways and... Read More

WASHINGTON -- A key piece of a bipartisan proposal to sustain local journalism has passed through the House Ways and Means Committee and is now part of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package currently awaiting a vote in the full chamber. When it was proposed by... Read More

September 22, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Trump Accuses His Niece and NY Times of Conspiracy for Revealing His Tax Returns

Former President Donald Trump accuses his niece and The New York Times of deceit and conspiracy to obtain his tax... Read More

Former President Donald Trump accuses his niece and The New York Times of deceit and conspiracy to obtain his tax returns in a lawsuit he filed Tuesday. The lawsuit asks for $100 million in compensation after the former president says he was victimized by an “insidious... Read More

September 16, 2021
by Dan McCue
Lone Sentence in Popular Series Could Cost Netflix a Cool $5 Million

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A single line in Netflix sensation “The Queen’s Gambit,” which is expected to rake in the... Read More

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A single line in Netflix sensation “The Queen’s Gambit,” which is expected to rake in the statues at this weekend’s 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, could wind up costing the streaming giant a cool $5 million thanks to a defamation lawsuit filed Thursday... Read More

September 4, 2021
by Dan McCue
Broadcasters Say Media Ownership Rules Are Detrimental to Competition, Diversity

WASHINGTON -- Regulations governing the ownership of broadcast radio and television stations harms broadcasters’ ability to compete in the marketplace,... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Regulations governing the ownership of broadcast radio and television stations harms broadcasters’ ability to compete in the marketplace, stymies service to local communities and fails to promote diversity in ownership, the National Association of Broadcasters said in a lengthy filing delivered to the Federal... Read More

September 1, 2021
by Dan McCue
Nielsen Has National Ratings Accreditation Yanked by Media Rating Council

Nielsen, which for decades has been providing television ratings for everything from presidential debates and political conventions to nightly newscasts,... Read More

Nielsen, which for decades has been providing television ratings for everything from presidential debates and political conventions to nightly newscasts, was reeling Wednesday after a key industry organization pulled its support of the company’s services. The Media Rating Council is a United States-based nonprofit organization that... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top