Nexstar's Retrans Take Rises, but How Much?

9/05/2009 2:00 AM Eastern

It can be tricky figuring out the best number to pin to Nexstar Broadcasting Group's retransmission-consent haul from the second quarter of 2009, at least without talking to the executive who should know best.

According to a 10-Q filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nexstar's retransmission take increased 91.3%, to $6.4 million. But according to the company's press release on the second-quarter figures, the retrans pot for the quarter ending June 30 was actually $7.9 million, and only a 68% increase over the same quarter in 2008.

Turns out both the $6.4 million and the $7.9 million figures and percentage gains are correct. The first is an all-cash figure, the second is cash plus additional considerations.

According to the 10-Q, that $7.9 figure is $6.4 million in cash, plus another $1.6 million in ad commitments, which was a 68% increase over that same cash-plus-ads total in second-quarter 2008, which was $4.7 million ($3.4 million cash; $1.3 in ad commitments).

Nexstar even threw in another number associated with retransmission consent. In the deck of its release, it cited a 56% increase for retransmission fees “plus,” the plus being “e-media and management fee revenue,” which dragged down the average.

If only the retransmission cash is counted, as it is in the SEC filing: “Retransmission compensation was $6.4 million [$6.371 million to be precise] for the three months ended June 30, 2009, compared to $3.3 million for the same period in 2008, an increase of $3.1 million,” or that 91.3%.

Which is the figure to take to the bank? Said Tom Carter, Nexstar's CFO: “In my opinion, what investors are more interested in is the cash paid number not the cash paid plus ad spend,” he said.

That would be the $6.4 million figure, and 91.3% increase.

Whichever way you look at it, the boost came out of cable's pocket, a point Nexstar makes to the SEC: “The increase in retransmission compensation was primarily the result of agreements with various cable companies being renegotiated at higher rates in the fourth quarter of 2008.”

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!