EW Scripps Co. announced its third quarter results this morning, including Local media (its local TV channels and brands across all platforms) revenue of $378 million, up 14% from the prior year quarter.
Basic advertising decreased 12% to $147 million.
Political advertising revenue was $63.2 million, compared to $7.1 million in the year-ago quarter.
Broadcast revenue increased 7.3% to $165 million.
Segment spending rose 4.9%, driven by network affiliation fees and the impact of Scripps employees returning to work at its stations, resuming more normal operating procedures.
Segment profit was $99.6 million, compared to $65.4 million in the prior year quarter.
The Scripps Networks Division, which includes its nine national networks, reported revenues of $235 million, up 3.9% from the prior year quarter, reflecting the expanded distribution of our networks on CTV platforms. The weak national advertising market continues to affect Scripps Networks revenues.
Segment spending increased 14% to $163 million, consistent with the company’s strategic commitment to grow its national networks and continually improve its programming.
Segment profit was $72 million, down from $83.3 million a year earlier.
For the company as a wholeQ3 total revenue was $612 million, an increase of 10%, or $56.9 million, over the prior year quarter due to higher political and broadcasting revenue in the local media division.
Segment, shared services and enterprise costs and expenses were $467 million, compared to $427 million in the prior year quarter.
Income attributable to Scripps shareholders was $33.7 million or 38 cents per share
Commenting on the quarter’s results, Scripps Chairman and CEO Adam Symson said, “Scripps’ impressive 10% revenue growth in the third quarter was fueled in part by the company’s cross-platform distribution strategy. – to ensure viewers can find our high-quality programming content wherever they watch TV. We have now launched our ad-supported free-to-air TV networks (FAST) on major connected TV services, and in Q3 , this paid off with a solid overachievement of Scripps Networks revenue expectations.We are just getting started and expect this strategy to fuel continued revenue growth at an impressive rate.
“In the midst of an economic climate that is challenging spending and consumer confidence, Scripps is leveraging its leadership in free-to-air television to benefit the company and shareholders. “on-demand subscriptions have nearly doubled in price and the TV market is more confusing than ever for the consumer. It’s clear from the results of our early initiatives that Americans are looking to add a free and easy option: TV streaming.” We are very pleased to see our marketing efforts begin to increase antenna sales.Because we already capture nearly a third of all live viewing, increased antenna usage means more consumers are spending time with our nine Scripps networks and local broadcast stations.
“In local media, we achieved a record level of political advertising revenue for a midterm election, despite spending less than we expected on key races in our Florida and Montana markets. We know that political campaigns continue to rely heavily on local broadcasters to share their messages with voters, and we have full confidence in campaigns and PACs will come our way through the 2024 presidential election cycle and beyond.
Read the company’s report here.