Sinclair Revenue Holds Steady Due to Sports Broadcasts

    • Sinclair Broadcasting Group posted a small revenue decline in Q4 2021.
    • Sports helped counteract a drop in political advertising.

Sinclair Broadcast Group avoided a significant revenue dropoff in the fourth quarter of 2021 with increased sports programming, as it looks to challenge streaming networks directly.

The national broadcaster saw revenue drop 2% year-over-year in the quarter to $1.5 billion

Broadcast revenue dropped 21.4% year-over-year to $704 million, but local sports largely made up the difference with a 30.1% rise to $691 million.

  • In December, Sinclair’s sports network holding company Diamond Sports Group re-upped its deal with the NHL to broadcast and stream games of 12 teams in their local territories on their Bally’s regional sports networks.
  • In January, Diamond struck a similar deal with the NBA for local broadcasts and streaming rights for 16 teams. That deal carried a one-year term with three one-year renewal offers.
  • The Sinclair-owned Tennis Channel reached a pact with the Women’s Tennis Association to broadcast matches in four European countries that same month.

Jumping into the Stream

Sinclair plans to bundle its regional sports networks into a streaming service, which would be available without a cable subscription. 

In January, the company secured $600 million in funding to support the new service. Sinclair was also recently in talks with the Chicago Cubs on a standalone streaming service.

Diamond holds around $8 billion in debt related to Sinclair’s 2019 purchase of regional sports networks from Disney for $10.6 billion.