Gannett Co. reported a 19.6% increase in broadcasting revenues on a same-station basis for the first quarter of 2014.
The station group reported a 6.5% increase in core revenues, driven by $41 million of advertising associated with the Sochi Winter Olympics. This was partially offset by the loss of Super Bowl revenues that aired on CBS stations in the first quarter of 2013.
On a same-station basis, retransmission revenues were up 66.4%, totaling $87.5 million for the quarter. Political ad revenue was also up for the quarter, as were digital revenues in the broadcast segment.
“An outstanding performance by our new broadcast stations fueled double-digit increases in both revenue and profitability in our Broadcast Segment and contributed to total company pro forma revenue growth and a robust level of free cash flow in the first quarter,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “Our Broadcast group achieved exceptional ratings, particularly throughout the Sochi Winter Games as Gannett stations took the top two spots in prime time and in every Olympic day-part among major market NBC stations.”