BIA: Station Sales Drop 50.7% In Total Value
January 16, 2009 at 5:16 AM (PT)
An analysis by BIA ADVISORY SERVICES SVP MARK FRATRICK of 2008 deals shows the number of stations sold in the year down 26.7% and the total value of those stations was off 50.7% year-to-year. 778 stations changed hands in 2008. Matters were worse for television, which saw sales plummet 76% to just 54 stations, with total value off 86%.
FRATRIK, noting the impact of the economic slowdown and credit crunch as well as the reduction in ad revenues, said that "the outlook for the immediate future in those advertising revenues is not expected to recover. It probably will not be until the later part of 2009 that advertising revenue growth becomes positive, and even then the growth will be slow." He warned that "the immediate likely future of station trading activity is one of limited sales. Sellers who want to exit the industry, in part or totally, see the limited number of buyers and will wait till conditions improve."
FRATRIK advised station owners that they "should take this time to look beyond the immediate negative economic and credit conditions and try to build value for their properties in this new media environment (which continues to evolve no matter the economy). They should be training their advertising sales staffs to sell their stations as a multi-platform delivery device (broadcast, online, mobile, search engine maximization, promotions/events) and owners should be investing in new equipment by spending the resources necessary to develop new revenue sources, including the enhancement of the station’s website and mobile advertising platforms.
"By the time we get past the downturn those investments will make the broadcast stations more competitive in local media markets, thereby increasing their revenues and ultimately their values."