Scripps' Q 2 revenue grows, benefiting from political advertising and distribution gains.

CINCINNATI: The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) delivered $594 million in revenue and $132 million in segment profit for the second quarter of 2022, driven by higher Local Media political advertising and retransmission revenues.

The company is on track to deliver at least $270 million of Local Media political advertising revenue for the full year, outpacing its 2020 adjusted-combined presidential election year political revenue, after record-setting second-quarter results.


During the second quarter, Scripps benefitted from strong political advertising revenues in the Local Media division. Higher retransmission revenues also contributed to its 10% total revenue growth, and the company saw continued moderation in the decline of pay TV households. Local core advertising was down just slightly, despite the macroeconomic climate.

The Scripps Networks division revenue performed better than the national cable and broadcast networks marketplace, and the division delivered a 31% segment profit margin, despite a challenging national advertising climate.

The Networks division increased connected TV revenue by 35% in Q2 and continues its aggressive expansion onto CTV platforms, with six networks either launched or launching before October on services including Roku, FreeVee, Samsung TV Plus, TCL, Tubi, Vizio Watchfree and Xumo.

The company is carefully managing expenses in the face of the current economic environment, without negatively impacting its long-term commitment to its local media and national networks strategies.

Free cash flow for the full year is now targeted at about $400 million.

"For the second quarter, Scripps met or exceeded overall expectations. Foreshadowing the record performance we expect in the back half of the year, political advertising during the first two quarters nearly equaled the level of revenue we saw for the same period of the presidential election year 2020, when Michael Bloomberg spent early and heavily in our markets to promote his presidential campaign. We also experienced smaller declines in our pay TV subscriber household counts year over year," said Adam Symson, Scripps president and CEO.

While Scripps Networks revenue was short of guidance - a reflection of the weakness in the national ad market - it still equaled last year's extraordinary performance and delivered results better than peers as well as a margin of more than 30%.

"The Networks benefited from growth in connected TV revenue, with...

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