TV Station Sales Increase in 2004

The number of television stations sold during the first half of 2004 increased from the same period last year, according to BIA Financial Network--a financial strategy and research firm for the media industry.

Thirty-nine full power stations were sold for a combined value of $323 million. This increased from the 22 sold for $242 million last year however transactions are historically low. Dr. Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIA cites ownership rules as a hindrance to sales.

Low power television (LPTV) stations continue to have increased sales. During the first six months of 2004, 75 LPTV stations were sold for a total of $11 million, up from 38 sold for $4 million last year.

"The market for LPTVs has been more lucrative in recent years, as niche programmers look for outlets in local markets where there may be no full power alternative, Fratrik said.