Nexstar Sees Retransmission-Consent Revenue Rise


Nexstar Broadcasting Group in the third quarter racked up $6.2 million in retransmission-consent revenue, cash and advertising, a 37.8% increase from the year-ago period's $4.5 million, the company reported last week.

Nexstar, which owns or operates 50 TV stations in 29 markets, took in $3.9 million of its total $6.2 million in retransmission-consent revenue in cash, up from $3.1 million in cash out of $4.5 million in retransmission consent revenue a year ago, Nexstar chief financial officer Matt Devine said in a third-quarter conference call with analysts.

In the first nine months, Nexstar had $15.5 million in total retransmission-consent revenue, with $10.5 million of that cash, versus $12.6 million in total retrans revenue, with $8.7 million in cash, in the first nine months last year, according to Devine.

During the third-quarter call, Nexstar chairman and CEO Perry Sook told analysts the company is expecting $30 million in retransmission-consent and new-media revenue for the full year 2008, a 5% increase from 2007.

In the third quarter, Nexstar renegotiated a multiyear retransmission-consent deal with DirecTV, and did a completely new deal with AT&T. The agreements give both distributors the rights to carry Nexstar's locally produced content, and to carry its standard-definition and HDTV signals.

“These new agreements extend our success in generating growing value from our station programming and validate the strength of our award-winning local content, local news and leading national programming, while raising the bar for retransmission-consent consideration on a per-subscriber basis,” Sook said during the call.

“These deals also represent further progress in driving meaningful incremental revenue from our round-two retransmission-consent negotiations, which will continue through 2009,” he said. “And we will be generating high-margin revenue growth from this source for the remainder of this year, throughout 2009 and into 2010.”

The TV station-group owner posted net revenue of $70.3 million, up 9% compared to $64.5 million a year ago.

Nexstar's broadcast cash flow totaled $27.3 million in the third quarter, compared with $22.8 million for the same period in 2007. EBITDA totaled $23.1 million for the third quarter, compared to $19.7 million in the third quarter of 2007.

“I think TV has this quadruple play … where we've got the revenue streams from subscription — which is retrans — we've got our core ad growth, we've got e-media and then we have this whole digital-mobile minerals rights that we just haven't quite figured out how to drill yet,” Sook said.