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Sinclair Lowers Third Quarter Outlook

Sinclair Broadcast Group Monday lowered its third quarter outlook (ending Sept. 30).

The outlook sees a third quarter about flat with last year.

Aug. 6, Sinclair provided public guidance for third quarter net broadcast revenues of $152.5 to $154.4 million, an increase of 2.0 to 3.4 percent over the third quarter of 2007. That outlook included $9.7 million in political advertising revenues.

But the difficult financial and economic environment has led Sinclair to lower its revenue estimate to about $149.4, about the same as the third quarter last year, with an estimated $8.0 million of political advertising revenues in the quarter.

Of the approximate $3 million to $5 million estimated shortfall from the earlier estimate, $1.7 million is attributable to candidates shifting their advertising buys from the local spot market to the networks, Sinclair said. The remaining shortfall is primarily attributable to advertising cancellations by the automobile sector, both at the manufacturing and dealer levels, as well as the fast food sector, the company said.

"The telecommunications sector had lower than expected advertising budgets and, in general, local advertisers were able to purchase commercial spots at the last moment during the Olympics that we were expecting to air on non-NBC stations," the company said in a statement.