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Broadcasting & Cable
Broadcasting & Cable
Jon Lafayette

Sinclair Reports 4Q Loss On Diamond Sports Settlement

Sinclair logo on a phone.

Sinclair reported a fourth quarter loss as it made a $495 million payment to settle lawsuits surrounding its bankrupt Diamond Sports Group subsidiary.

In the quarter, Sinclair lost $341 million, or $5.35 a share, compared to net income of $55 million, or 79 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding charges and adjustments, Sinclair said the company had net income of $51 million. Adjusted earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 41%to$181 million, mainly because of lower political advertising revenues.

Total revenues were down 14% to $826 million. Media revenues were also down 14% to $821 million.

Ad revenues were down 28% to $363 million. Core advertising revenues–excluding political spending–were up 2% to $339 million.

Distribution revenue edged up to $422 million. 

Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said that the Diamond settlement better positions regional sports networks, which will remain an important asset for pay-TV bundles.

Also Read: Diamond Cheats Death -- Court Approvals Mean NBA and NHL Teams Will Stay on Bally Sports Channels After This Season

Sinclair benefits from the strength of pay-TV because it receives retransmission consent payments from distributors based on the number of subscribers they have.

“Sinclair delivered a solid finish to 2023 with our local media segment meeting guidance and Tennis Channel exceeding expectations,” Ripley said.

“During the year and through early January, we continued our commitment to deleveraging, repurchasing over $91 million in debt,” he said.

He said the the rollout of NextGen broadcast technology is progressing well, and that the industry  will soon be able to capitalize on businesses built on ATSC 3.0. 

“We are focused on continuing to drive industry-leading core advertising revenue growth and net retrans growth, and anticipate another record year for political advertising revenue to generate strong financial results in 2024,” he said.

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