Nexstar Tallies $6.2 Million In Q3 Retrans Fees

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Nexstar Broadcasting Group racked up $6.2 million in retransmission-consent revenue, cash and advertising, in the third quarter, a 38% increase from the year-ago period’s $4.5 million, the company said Monday.

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

“Revenue growth was driven by strong year-over-year increases in political, retransmission consent and eMedia revenues, which offset the softness of traditional television advertising spending in our markets,” Nexstar chairman and CEO Perry Sook said in a statement.

“Third-quarter 2008 retransmission consent revenue grew 37.8% from year-ago levels to $6.2 million, eMedia revenue rose 62.6% to $2.7 million, and the company’s stations captured over $4 million of Summer Olympics-related advertising revenue,” Sook said. “Our high margin digital revenue streams are expected to continue to grow throughout fourth quarter and 2009 as we renegotiate expiring retransmission-consent agreements, enter into agreements with new providers in our markets and benefit from new products and partnerships being added to our eMedia platform.”

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, with $8.7 million in cash, in the first nine months last year, Nexstar chief financial officer Matt Devine said in a conference call with analysts.  

During that call, Sook said Nexstar is expecting $30 million in retransmission-consent and e-media revenue for the full year 2008.

He noted that in the third quarter Nexstar had renegotiated a multi-year retransmission-consent deal with DirecTV, and done 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 deals also represent further progress in driving meaningful incremental revenue from our round two retransmission-consent negotiations, which will continue through 2009,” Sook said during the conference call. “And we will be generating high-margin revenue growth from this source for the remainder of this year, throughout 2009 and into 2010.” 

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.

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