Through the end of May, TV station transactions were noticeably up as compared to last year’s levels. Some of that increase is tied to the spin-off of some of the Tribune stations that Nexstar is poised to acquire.
Yet, the acquisitions of Terrier Media Holdings, as well as the Gray Television acquisitions, has led to nearly $5.2 billion in sales through the end of May (as compared to the $82 million at the same time last year). The June 12th announcement of Tegna acquiring the Dispatch television stations will only add to that increasing 2019 total.
Faced with the increased competition for both audiences and advertiser clients, television groups need to become more efficient by acquiring more stations. These acquisitions will allow these television stations to better compete in this ever-changing environment.
In contrast, the level of radio station transactions in 2019 are generally at the same level as in previous years (265 stations for $293 million vs. 252 stations $231 million in 2018).
Many radio groups are constrained by the local ownership regulations that prevent them from purchasing more local stations. If those regulations are relaxed, as has been suggested, we would certainly see a pickup in the number of transactions.
Every month, BIA tracks and posts an update on transactions and values here.