Advertising falls but Scripps enjoys second-quarter revenue boost | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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In a three-month period marked, but not marred, by the effects of not only the Covid-19 pandemic but also the George Floyd protests, US TV provider EW Scripps has revealed a positive second quarter of the year.

scripps 2 march 2019For the quarter ended 30 June 2020, period that saw the US TV provider posted revenue of $359 million, an increase of 12% compared with the prior-year quarter. This figure includes incremental revenue from the television stations acquired from Cordillera Communications on 1 May 2020 and from the Nexstar transaction with Tribune on 19 September 2019, totalling $55.7 million. Political revenue in the quarter was $13.4 million.

Revenue from the company’s local media business line was $277 million, up 17% from the same time at 2019. The key retransmission revenue source increased 56% year-on-year to $142 million and Scripps noted that during 2020 it had renegotiated retransmission consent contracts covering more than 30% of its subscribers.

However, despite the general rises in revenue, Scripps also revealed that Q2 core advertising revenue fell 17% on an annual basis to $117 million. This was attributed to weakness in economic conditions that began toward the end of the first quarter, reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which negatively affected advertiser spend. Second-quarter results were also said to be “significantly” impacted by the economic downturn, with the greatest impact in April. That said the company noted that it had seen improvements in advertising revenue from April to May and from May to June.

Costs and expenses for the company’s segments, shared services and corporate were $329 million, up from $269 million in the year-ago quarter, reflecting said Scripps the impact of the acquisitions, higher network programming fees and investment in programming at its Katz networks division.

Commenting on publication of the second quarter results, Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson said: “In early March, the onset of a global pandemic caused business disruptions that nearly brought the advertising marketplace to a halt….We were pleased to deliver second-quarter core ad revenue performance in line with our peers at 37%, if you back out the results of WPIX and the loss of their baseball game revenue. And, most recently, we were forced to go dark on the Dish Network – Scripps’ first distributor blackout. But despite it all, we were well positioned to weather the challenging economic environment because of strategic decisions we had made many months before.”