U.S. Broadcast Station Deal Volume Nears $310 Million In Q3 2016, Lowest YTD Volume Since 2010

Radio market accounts for $293 million in Q3 2016 deal volume on the heels of top radio deal of the year

Oct 06, 2016 / 09:30 AM
Monterey, Calif.

U.S. broadcast station mergers and acquisitions (M&A) volume reached $309.9 million in the third quarter of 2016 and surpassed $5.7 billion year-to-date (YTD) through September 30, as announced today by SNL Kagan, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The radio market reported $293.1 million in deal volume in the third quarter, 82% of which is from the top radio deal of the year, the pending merger between Beasley Broadcast Group and Greater Media.

Broadcast deal volume, radio

Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. announced on July 19 that it would acquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media Inc., effectively tripling the year's radio deal volume. Our estimates put the deal's value of $239.0 million at a 6.0x forward seller's multiple.

The only other sizable radio deal in the third quarter was a do-over of the canceled sale of noncommercial Jazz-FM station KPLU in Tacoma, Wash. A nonprofit group called Friends of 88.5 FM raised $8.0 million and bought KPLU and its three full-power and eight low-power translators from Pacific Lutheran University Inc.

Broadcast deal volume, tv

As in the previous two quarters, the largest portion of the radio deal market (58% of all stations sold) involved low-power FM translators. In the wake of the FCC’s AM Revitalization initiative, and following the sale of 626 FM translators and FM translator construction permits in the first half of the year, another 177 FM translators (including 64 Construction Permits) were sold in the third quarter for $9.7 million total.

Due to the ongoing FCC blackout on TV transactions, the TV deal market registered a mere $16.8 million in the third quarter 2016, which is the lowest quarterly deal volume since the first quarter of 2010.

The largest deal of the third quarter was a refiling, and its $13.5 million price tag was deducted from a previous deal announced earlier in the year. Calkins Media Inc.’s ABC affiliate WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Ala., was originally to be sold to Raycom Media Inc. together with Calkins’ other two ABC stations for $82.0 million. As per the amended deal terms, Alabama TV LLC has agreed to acquire WAAY-TV on August 26.

The only other significant TV deal was another spinoff as part of Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc.’s deal to acquire Media General. Nexstar is selling FOX affiliate KASA-TV in Santa Fe, N.M., and 31 TV translators to Ramar Communications Inc. for $2.5 million.

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