Sinclair Broadcast Group today reported financial results for the first quarter, announcing a 23% increase in revenue for the period.
Sinclair, which owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 74 television stations across the country, brought in $192.2 million during the first three months of the year, compared to $156.0 million for the same period last year.
Sinclair’s strong quarter was driven by an increase in local broadcast revenues, which include local time sales and retrans revenues, and a boost in political advertising.
The company’s local broadcast revenues were up 26.4% in the first quarter, thanks in large part to the money received from carriage agreements with cable and satellite operators.
Sinclair’s political revenues were $3.6 million in the quarter, compared to $0.6 million last year.
A rise in political advertising, as well as an increase in automotive, helped the company offset a steep decline in money made off the Super Bowl. Only one Sinclair station carried this year’s Super Bowl on NBC, compared to the 20 Fox-affiliates that carried it last year, meaning $6.1 million less in revenue from the event.