Broadcast station M&A rose 30% in the first quarter, with total transactions valued at $3.33 billion in the first quarter, according to SNL Kagan.
The first quarter tally was driven by Media General’s plans to merge with LIN Media in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, including debt. The 9 times forward looking cash flow valuation on that deal helped drive overall multiples in the quarter to 8.9 times cash flow in the period. Without the Media General deal, the TV multiple would have been 8.5 times, which is still 0.3 points higher than 2013's average, according to SNL Kagan.
In addition the Media General deal, other big transactions in the period included the $364 million sale of Post-Newsweek's WPLG in Miami to Berkshire Hathaway, and the $190 million sale of nine stations from Quincy Newspapers Inc. and Sagamore Hill Broadcasting to Granite Broadcasting Corp. and Malara Broadcast Group.
According to SNL Kagan, about 107 TV stations traded hands in the period. The average TV station price in the quarter was $31.1 million.