Sinclair Broadcasting revenues drop

Sinclair Broadcasting revenues drop
© Getty

Sinclair posted a first-quarter revenue drop of 6 percent, or $1.5 million, compared with the first quarter of 2020, the company said Wednesday.

In addition, the company posted a net loss of $12 million in the first quarter of this year, compared to net income of $123 million in the first quarter of 2020.

In its statement accompanying the numbers, the company blamed the results on a lack of political ad revenue, distributors dropping some of the company’s regional sports network brands and higher subscriber churn in the pay TV industry.

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A day before posting the results, Sinclair announced it was expanding its national news show “The National Desk.” 

The show is adding two hours in the evening from 10 p.m. to midnight ET. in addition to its current time slot of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET. 

“The National Desk” runs on local TV stations Sinclair owns in 87 U.S. markets and also on Sinclair’s free streaming platform “STIRR” as well as its news websites. 

Sinclair is not the only company with a large portfolio of local TV stations attempting to launch a national news effort. 

Last year, Nexstar, the largest owner of local TV stations in the U.S., started a national evening news show on cable network WGN and then rebranded all of WGN as NewsNation in March. It confirmed Wednesday that it has hired former Fox News anchor Leland Vittert.

In early April, Scripps, which owns 61 television stations in 41 markets, announced it was building out a national news organization to provide over-the-air content via those stations and its national news streaming channel Newsy. Scripps said it expects the broadcasts to reach 80 percent of U.S. households via its local TV stations.