Sinclair Broadcasting sees increase in retransmission revenue

Following the resolution of its carriage dispute with Mediacom cable, Sinclair Broadcasting said it expects its retransmission consent compensation to increase 89 percent this year to the $48 million range.

Sinclair sees this income coming from new deals, such as the ones it made with Time Warner Cable, with 6 million subscribers, and Mediacom, with 700,000.

Sinclair, with 58 local stations, argues that it is entitled to payment for its channels if programmers offering outlets such as the Military Channel are getting paid for them to be carried.

Sinclair told MediaDaily News that it now has deals with 75 percent of the operators that offer its channels. However, while retransmission income may be increasing, the report said there are signs that the local station business is under duress, as the local news telecasts appear to be losing viewers (particularly younger ones) to the Internet.

Full-year 2006 revenues for Sinclair rose only 3.5 percent to $635.8 million, and that came with $32 million in political dollars, again propelling the increase, the report said.